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Victoria airport gets funding

By Brian Cuaron
July 9, 2011 at 2:09 a.m.

PROBLEMS WITH FUEL STATIONThe current fuel station is leaking.

The leakage is difficult to detect since the fuel tanks and piping are underground, Jason Milewski said. He added that underground systems are antiquated in aviation and that the airport must get parts manufactured whenever the fuel station needs replacements.

Milewski called that an expensive and time-consuming process.

He said it made financial sense to put the money into a new system rather than "taking an old system and putting a band aid on it."

The Victoria Regional Airport received some useful grant funding last month.

However, it might not need it all just now.

The Texas Transportation Commission awarded a $765,407 grant and $441,740 grant to the airport at its June 30 meeting, according to news releases.

The $700,000 grant was allocated for a new fuel system.

Yet the entire project was projected to cost $544,440. The airport had already received $408,330 for the project and Victoria County was committed to pay $136,110, said Jason Milewski, the airport's manager.

The county was required to pay 25 percent of the project's cost.

The airport is building its new fuel station in a different location, Milewski said.

The fuel-system project shouldn't cost much more than its projection, Milewski said. He added that if bids for the project came in too high, then the airport can choose to not do parts of it in order to lower the cost.

If the airport doesn't use the funds for the project, it would still hold onto them, Milewski said. It just must spend the money in three years on eligible projects.

The $400,000 grant would be used for some much-needed updates to the airport.

The runway numbers must be changed to align them with the settings of a compass, Milewski said. The magnetic north of a compass naturally moves, so occasionally an airport may need to update its runway numbers.

Milewski said the airport's runway numbers haven't changed in decades.

The grant would also pay for updates to the airport's signs. They direct pilots along taxiways and runways.

The sealing of cracks on the airport's main runway would also be covered by the grant. Milewski said when cracks develop, they get bigger and eventually form pot holes.

"And potholes are not good for planes," he said.



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