Elko airport runway reopens

A runway at Elko Regional Airport reopened to commercial aviation in late September after a month of rehabilitation.

An airport official said the airport’s runway 5/23, which is more than a mile long, was repaved and new lighting was installed.

A new path indicator to assist planes during takeoff and landing was also added. The project cost was $9.6 million, and was mostly funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The runway’s reopening means that direct flights between Elko and Salt Lake City have resumed, but not all of the work is done — airport officials say they’ll work through next spring on further paving and grooving projects on the runway.

The FAA is paying for almost $9 million of the project and the City of Elko is paying the remaining project costs.

Road and Highway Builders, LLC, a paving company out of Reno, was chosen as the contractor. They were supported by local firms such as Newfields, AMEC, Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Organization, Technical Operations Engineer and a host of material suppliers.

Jviation, of Salt Lake City, performed the design work provided on site construction administration services. There were 40 direct full-time people employed on site which were supported by as many people off site.

While the project’s main purpose was to rehabilitate the runway, the community realized a large economic benefit by employing many local residents directly tied to the project.

Using the 2007 IMPLAN Economic Impact Model, the project stimulated $6.4 million dollars in indirect economic impact to northern Nevada as the federal dollars funding the project originated from outside Nevada.

The combined stay of all contractors and engineers on site created 1,174 Elko hotel night stays bringing in $98,616 dollars in gross revenue for hotel rooms occupied over the two month project.

The IMPLAN model estimates that 82 percent of the local matching funds the City of Elko committed towards the Runway 5/23 project will be in the form of sales tax receipts.


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