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Airport receives more than $1M for runway work

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This year’s annual funding for runway improvements totals about $1.19 million. (File Photo)

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The Roswell International Air Center has received a $1.19 million grant from the federal government for improvement of runway 17, Airport Director Scott Stark confirmed Thursday.

U.S. Department of Transportation funding totaling about $23 million for 27 New Mexico airports was announced by U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-Albuquerque) and Tom Udall (D-Santa Fe).

Stark said the airport receives $1 million a year for runway maintenance, an amount determined by the size and use of the airport. Any amount left over each year is rolled into the next, which is why the total funding this year is $1,185,171.

The funding comes from the Air Improvement Program of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is part of the federal Department of Transportation.

This year’s funding will be used for maintenance of about 9,900 feet of the north-south runway 17.

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“It is an asphalt runway. The north 1,600 feet of that runway has some areas that have sunk a little bit, about an inch or so,” said Stark. “That becomes an issue for airplane safety because it can hold water and cause hydroplaning in a rainy condition.”

He said the top 2 inches of that portion of the runway will be milled off and new asphalt applied. The rest of the runway will receive an emulsion coating and re-striping.

He said the work is expected to start in mid-August and take about 30 days. Constructors Inc. based in Carlsbad will do the work.

He added that the maintenance work is not expected to impact airport operations in any way, as air traffic will have access to the east-west runway.

Nationwide, the FAA made 241 grants for 356 projects. The entire list is found on the Airport Improvement Program page of the Federal Aviation Administration website, faa.gov.

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