While there have been many renovations to the Ak-Chin Regional Airport since 2006, one renovation was completed this year, 2015 and a few more are actually in the process.
According to Tim Costello, Airport Manager, three (3) miles of fencing around the airport was installed and wrapped up last month. The fencing will secure the airport from unwanted conflicts. The runway must always be clear of objects for aircraft to land or take-off safely. In the past, there have been conflicts such as dirt bikes and animals on the airport, complicating the safe movement of aircraft.
The installation of runway lights is one of the projects in process. The runway lights will allow night use of the airport and extend the use of the airport beyond daylight hours. The fall and winter months provide exceptional weather for flying, as it’s much cooler and less turbulent which is the best highlight for Arizona flyers. The new lighting will allow flyers to extend a beautiful day of flying into the night time. Before, aircraft arriving at Ak-Chin Regional in the dark would have to divert to another airport with lights and shuttle back to Ak-Chin Regional Airport the following day.
The other part of this project is the installation of high-tech weather instrumentation that is a Federal Aviation Administration certified weather station. The new weather station provides data such as wind speed, barometric pressure, temperature, sky condition, to name a few. The weather station broadcasts up to second weather information directly to the pilots by radio. It allows the pilot to get accurate weather data on what is currently happening at the airport.
Lastly, but not least, crack sealing of the runway will be taking place shortly. Here in Arizona, cracking of the runway pavement is accelerated due to the intensely hot weather, another good safety precaution for flyers.
The continued and planned growth of the airport is what’s very exciting for Mr. Costello. After completing a 20-Year Master Plan, he stated “the plan depicts the growth and use of the airport that will include the use of slightly larger planes and small business jets.” As of now and in the near future, the airport is being utilized as a general aviation airport.
Currently, the airport facility has outside aircraft storage, but a big part of the 20-Year Master Plan is to add more hangars in hopes of creating a hugely desirable market of their own.
We invite you to read Part II on “Exploring the Ak-Chin Regional Airport,” next month. More great information is coming to you then. In the meantime, visit http://akchinairport.com/ to get more information directly.
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