BY DAVE NORTH
Los Alamos County Transportation Board
Right now, there are some less than ideal aspects to Los Alamos Airport. The most notable problem is the taxiway, which is too narrow and poorly placed. As a result, most flights have to taxi on the runway to the west end, turn around, and finally take off.
The Transportation Board heard about it in an excellent presentation by Geoff Rodgers, our Airport Manager.
The quick and easy explanation of the fix is to tear down the old hangars, then expand parking and other operations in the unused northwest corner of the property. In the end there would be more hangars, plenty of parking, and expanded capabilities — maybe leading to a return of commercial aviation.
Not only would this be safer, it would generate more revenue from hangar rentals, and with any luck we’d see car rentals start up again. The cost to the county would be a bit over $800,000. However, increased income combined with the gross receipts tax charged for the approximately 10 million dollar project (mostly funded by grants) would soon make up the investment.
The older hangars on the west (townsite) end are privately owned on leased land, which could present a problem. But the owners are aware of the plan, and Rogers didn’t think there would be any problem if and when the time comes, as long as there are hangars available to move into.
There’s more to the airport than just local folks flying planes. It’s also a base for fire operations, and maintenance on the Medevac copter is done in a special hangar.
The slides from the report can be seen at: http://LosAlamos.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=3db35a0d-f6f7-4475-8504-112c6e08cefc.pdf
Rogers added a lot of interesting detail in his report. There is a video record of the November 3 meeting at https://losalamos.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
Next month we’re hoping to get a comprehensive update on the pending work at SR 4 and the Truck Route. Dec. 2, 5:30 pm. Don’t miss it!