Major capital improvement projects are proceeding on schedule at Mojave Air & Space Port, the staff reported to the directors at the Feb. 19 meeting.
A marketing budget for the airport was also discussed.
The projects are: providing utilities to the north side of the airport; repaving and widening of runway 4-22 under an FAA grant; and renovation of building 137, to serve as a community center. It was also reported that the airport’s study of wind tower lighting is being completed and the findings turned over to Kern County for further action.
CEO Stu Witt brought a proposed expenditure of $25,000 for board approval. He could have spent these funds under his board-granted authority, but preferred to have board input. It would pay Masten Space Systems to provide video footage of the Mojave ASP taken from a rocket launch over the airport. That footage would be a valuable marketing and advertising asset.
As the footage would be taken in conjunction with another Masten mission, $25,000 is a really low cost, Witt pointed out. The board discussed how promotional and marketing costs are handled now, on an individual basis. Dr. Allen Peterson, director, proposed line item for the annual budget, so that board approval is not required to participate in each program. Board Vice President Dick Rutan favored such n arrangement. Witt is also in favor of doing marketing that way. The board unanimously approved the expenditure. The staff will include a marketing item in the forthcoming 2013-2014 budget
The north side utilities project is scheduled to be completed in mid-April. The project is budgeted at $1.3 million.
It includes electrical service, fiber optic cables and water service. Tenants anticipate adding more than 50 full time employees to work on projects enabled by these services. Ground lease fees to the airport will increase because of the availability of these services. To date, capital expenditures have been about $938,500.
The FAA AIP grant reconstruction of runway 4-22 has been going well, helped by good weather. It includes removal of all existing pavement, over-excavation, lime-treatment, and recompaction of the runway subgrade, and then installation of crushed rock base material and new asphalt pavement. A new edge lighting system will be installed. This will restore the runway to 4,746 feet long by 350 feet wide. Project completion in April is anticipated.
Building 137 formerly housed a swimming pool and facility which was used for pilot survival training. It is being rehabilitated to serve as a meeting place for the airport, and as a civic activities site for Mojave. The budget is $600,000. To date, $174,860 has been spent.
Wind tower lighting
As the community felt that the airport was responsible for the red lights atop the many local wind towers, CEO Witt has performed an investigation of the topic.
The requirements are set by the FAA Office of Tower Lighting, which has yet to update its standards for multiple towers near an airport, thus the current one per tower. At a recent meeting, Kern County agreed to be lead, in discussions of this topic with the FAA. The airport investigation was performed by JG Clancy consultants. A final report has been issued.