We are writing to update you on the changing status of Runway 04-22 at Skagit Regional Airport. Runway 04-22 is a secondary runway and is not supported with federal funding because it does not meet the minimum wind coverage requirements as defined by the FAA. The surface of the runway is the original asphalt from 1944 when the airfield was built to support military efforts during WWII and is in deteriorating condition. The Port has been evaluating the surface condition for several years and has determined, in consultation with our airport engineers, that the time has come to place some operational constraints on the use of the runway.
Until further notice, the Port will restrict use of Runway 04-22 to small, piston-engine aircraft only, under 12,500 pounds. The risk of foreign object debris (FOD) is elevated on Runway 04-22 due to the age and current condition of the asphalt and was a key consideration in the decision.
Because of the deteriorating condition of Runway 04-22, the Port encourages all pilots, including those with small aircraft, to use Runway 11-29 as your primary runway. We understand that this will increase traffic of 11-29, but this runway is well-equipped to handle the increased aircraft use.
The Port is working with our airport engineers on long-term solutions to the maintenance and repair of Runway 04-22. A full-depth rehabilitation of the runway could cost upwards of $4.8m. We are evaluating options to lower this cost and are looking for non-FAA funding opportunities to support the runway. We will keep you informed as we learn more.
To be clear, Runway 04-22 is not closing, nor is it being decommissioned. We understand the finality of that type of determination and therefore are simply restricting use to smaller aircraft only.
The Port and engineers will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. If further changes need to be made to ensure the safety of people and property, we will communicate those changes to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to look for options for maintenance and repair, await the further determinations of airport engineers, and be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
We understand that this will impact some pilots more than others, but the risk warrants this decision in order to prioritize the safety of everyone and everything within our airport.
Thank you for your understanding and involvement in the KBVS community.
Sincerely, Sara K. Young, Airport Manager, Director of Planning and Facilities
After a response from WPA Pres. Ken Davies and WPA Govt Affairs John Dobson, The Port of Skagit responded:
Good morning and thanks so much for including me in this important conversation. I’d like to offer a few more thoughts for the good of the order.
First, here is a link to our airport master plan, which is currently in development. We welcome any feedback.
Second, John is correct, we can do an overlay that will be sufficient to maintain the runway for a very long time for less than $1M. We are looking at that option seriously with our engineer and a local paving contractor and I expect that will be the path forward for this runway. If we can keep federal funding out of it we are much more likely to get a less expensive, but entirely adequate project done. Federal standards = $$$.
Third, a place where advocacy would be incredibly helpful would be in addressing the shortage of state funding for airports. We are very unlikely to change the FAA’s policy on funding for unjustified runways, which 04-22 is according to the wind coverage data. This however, would be a wonderful project for state funding if there were more to go around.
The Port commission has expressed a lot of support for Runway 04-22. If we can bring the cost down to less than $1M and bring some state funding to the table, I am confident the Port could find local matching funds to support the project. I am very optimistic about the future of this runway, but it will take some time to work through the funding scenarios.
In the meantime, the runway surface is becoming an increasing FOD hazard and we cannot sweep due to the unraveling pavement. I apologize if the message we sent out seemed alarmist, but we want our pilot community to be fully informed of the concern.
I greatly appreciate WPA’s advocacy for airports and airport funding. Keep up the good work and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to discuss directly.
Take care out there, Sara
Recently we have seen an increase in sloppy and haphazard waste oil and toxic waste dumping at the waste oil locations at Arlington.
The Airport is under no obligation to provide a waste dump site, and these services costs are ever-increasing. The liability to the city for hazardous spills and/or site contamination is huge. Coupled with the cost, liability and potential hazmat pollution issues, the Airport may soon be forced to discontinue this service. This would leave the users, tenants, and others to find alternate recycling or waste sites to drop off these items off-site on their own and at their sole expense.
Please help us to maintain this service to our Airport users by cleaning up after yourself. If the oil container is full, please call the Airport Office immediately, and we will have our contracted service properly empty the containers. If you see someone leaving a mess, call the office.
Monroe Whitman Operations Specialist
Arlington Municipal Airport
18204 59th Ave NE
Arlington, WA 98223
Cell: 360-631-2841 email@example.com
The following is an email I received via SASA a pilot lounge:
Hi Skagit Pilots,
I have had this discussion with several pilots in the last couple of months and also brought up the subject at a past SASA Board meeting.
After several questions by pilots as to where the ‘pilot lounge’ is at Skagit, I queried several individuals about the possibility and usefulness for a computer and printer in the Skagit Terminal.
Dyberg Aviation was very excited about a computer with internet access to help with flight plans, weather and other training aspects, and have students able to use it for access to aviation subjects and assist in training, as needed.
Not everyone is flying with IPads just yet, but having access in the terminal would be helpful, especially for traffic using U.S. Customs, which meets aircraft at the Terminal. Preflight computer access is also helpful so that the IPad, android, or IPhone batteries are not reduced in power just before flight departure.
I talked to Sarah Young today, and they were working on access to a desk, possibly with security for the computer and printer. She said they were all in favor of it and were ‘in the loop’ to proceed with help to keep things moving along and will let me know how the process is going.
Since I have several ‘spare’ computers no longer able to work high performance proprietary software, I can upgrade the hard drive to a solid state HD, have a large screen monitor (23”) surplussed by my wife’s company, and a possible printer. The printer is a bit older than I would like for dependable reasons, but they are fairly inexpensive these days for decent quality machines. So, if anyone has a decent quality printer and would like to donate it, that would be fantastic. The option is to ask for donations from our pilot groups here at Skagit to help with the process. I will see what is out there at Costco, Office Depot, and possibly a printer outlet/maintenance business to see if there are any for a decent price.
The other plan is to have a map board, a bulletin board (keep it neat), a basket with water bottles, and anything else you all may suggest, maybe like recent flying pubs. The terminal has limited space, but then there are not lots of passengers in any one group, except maybe on Young Eagles fly days. Since I am familiar with Arlington’s pilot lounge, others I have talked to agree that their lounge is practical and has similar amenities to what we anticipate as a starting point.
So, thank you for any input you may have and let’s keep moving in a positive direction.
If you want to contact me by phone, please leave a message or a text if I can’t break away from work or activities, like flying.