Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Regional Airport Manager Dave Ruppel alerted local governments that the terminal construction project was not among dozens of airport projects across the country that were shut down during the weekend because of suspended Congressional authorization.
“Our airport projects are not on the list of projects required to stop work,” Ruppel wrote in a brief email. “Our ability to receive our grant funding for this year should also not be affected provided this does not go on for more than a short time.”
YVRA is in the midst of a terminal expansion that will add a new baggage carousel, restaurant and offices at the airport in Hayden that is the cornerstone to ski season flights to Steamboat Ski Area.
Stop-work orders were issued for new airport control towers in cities such as Las Vegas, Nev., and Palm Springs and Oakland, Calif., among others. Demolition of an old control tower at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, N.Y., also was halted.
However, the furloughs will not affect air traffic controllers or lead to the cancellation of any flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The national construction shutdowns were announced Saturday after Congress adjourned Friday without extending the FAA’s funding.
As a result, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told news agencies that the lack of action would impact the hard-hit construction industry by bringing about $600 million in airport improvement projects across the country to a standstill.
Ruppel circulated a statement from the American Association of Airport Executives saying that the FAA had been forced to suspend airport control projects after Congress “failed to pass legislation on Friday” that would have authorized the FAA to release funds from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and award contracts.
The Association of Airport Executives reports that nearly 4,000 FAA employees were furloughed as a result of the legislative inaction.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com