Logan-Cache Airport works on multiple projects
An airplane prepares to land at the Logan-Cache Airport in Benson on Saturday afternoon. The airport is working on multiple improvement projects. (Jennifer Meyers/Herald Journal)
Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010 12:30 am
By Matthew K. Jensen | 3 comments
Multiple improvement projects are under way, planned or already completed at the Logan-Cache Airport.
The facility’s main runway is closed to all air traffic until Friday as construction crews resurface two 1,000-foot-long safety strips at each end.
Airport Manager Rich Stehmeier said the strips are designed to arrest an aircraft if it overshoots the end of the runway.
Having a smooth, flat surface for the strips, he explained, is an important part of commercial air traffic regulations.
“It’s basically a safety area with flat, smooth dirt to stop an airplane,” said Stehmeier. “When we got our certification for commercial air traffic, that was one of the areas they said needed to be improved.”
Crews from Staker Parson construction will grade the surfaces, build them up with road base and then treat the areas with weed killer.
The project is being funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the state, Stehmeier said.
Next on the agenda is to address a long-standing problem with one of the airport’s lighting arrays.
In 2006, the airport installed an instrument landing system – a necessary upgrade for planes to land in reduced visibility conditions.
The system includes special lighting on the north end of the longest runway that helps pilots discern the airport environment when descending from higher altitudes.
But the lighting component of the system has never been used because vehicle traffic on 4200 North travels directly through the array and could interfere with its operation.
Stehmeier said a passing vehicle may block the light signals to an approaching aircraft. Taller rigs, he added, render the system useless because they encroach into an FAA-mandated buffer zone beneath the lights.
“There’s a 15-foot safety buffer below the light plane,” he said. “If a big truck hauling hay or a school bus was to go through that, it would encroach about five feet into that safety zone.”
To fix the problem, engineers will increase the height of several poles that support the lighting equipment. The increased height, said Stehmeier, will keep road traffic clear of the system.
“They’re basically going to raise the light plane so that 4200 North is no longer an issue,” he said. “It’s probably something that should have been done from the very beginning but they didn’t think about it at the time.”
Stehmeier says the lighting project is planned to be completed by the end of the year.
Last month, the airport’s taxiways and apron were fog-sealed. Stehmeier said plans are in place to do the same on the main runway next year.
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