Humboldt submitting grant for airport condition study
March 3, 2022 By Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal
The City of Humboldt is applying for a $30,000 Community Airport Partnership (CAP) provincial grant to fund an aerodrome feasibility and planning study, examining the costs associated with an airport revitalization.
According to city administration, the airport has been a concern for years.
“We are concerned about different aspects of the airport as it is aging and where we should go next with the airport. If we should be expanding it, if we should rehabilitate it,” said Peter Bergquist, director of public works and utilities. “We’re going to be seeking a qualified airport consultant to give us some advice and some guidance and provide us a report on the airport and where we should go with it.”
The estimated cost for the study is $60,000. If the CAP grant is approved, the funds would cover half of the cost, leaving $30,000 to be covered by the city.
The study would cover a current conditions assessment on services, facilities, activities, economic impact; proximity to other airports; comparison to similar aerodromes; a prospective activities assessment including potential users, activity management, access control, development, fees and charges, tracking traffic, property management, runway lengthening, and lot expansion possibilities; cost estimates for rehabilitation or restoration as well as expansion to meet anticipated or prospective use for runways, taxiways, aprons, visual aids, and more; and a governance review with options for ownership and operation, as well as risk management, and environmental considerations.
If the grant is funded, administration would create a public request for proposal (RFP) outlining the elements to be included in the study. Upon awarding to a qualified consultant, staff would require that the local flying club, aerial applicator businesses and other interested stakeholders be engaged.
Joe Day, Humboldt’s city manager, said that the $30,000 would need to be funded from operational savings, and if there isn’t enough operational savings realized by the end of 2022 the study will need to be funded from reserves.
“We’ll look first to see if there’s operational savings that we can find somewhere else,” Day said. “When events like this happen mid-year after budget we try to go ahead with some study or program that hasn’t been budgeted – typically the director would be instructed to be aware that there has been an out of budget approval and if they can find savings in other areas to do so.”
According to the report to council, before the vote on Feb. 28, the local flying club has expressed support for growing the airport.