Frustration mounts with lack of FAA action on airport expansion


The Scotts Bluff County Airport Authority is frustrated with delays in FAA approval of final design plans and the low bid for an addition on the northeast end of the terminal to provide restrooms and seating for another 185 people in the security area.

The project was expected to begin in May. But the local board is still waiting for a response from the FAA so the federal funds that are going to fund 90% of the project can be released and contractor Paul Reed can begin construction.

Airport Manager Darwin Skelton says the four month period Reed has agreed to hold his $1.6 million bid ends August 20th, and with the next Airport Authority meeting August 14th, the board members are a little anxious. Skelton says even if the FAA approves the contract in the next month, the current delay is going to cause issues with the placement of concrete and the foundation before the cold weather hits.

The FAA is blaming the sequester for the delays but if the agency fails to respond in the next month, Reed could withdraw his bid, forcing a rebidding of the project and more delays.

The extra security space and restrooms will be provided by enclosing the outdoor eating area at the terminal and moving it to the east side of the restaurant.

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