Yampa Valley Regional Airport to pause air service in 2014 for repairs

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— The runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden will be closed for about 60 days during spring 2014.

After ski season flights stop in April, the asphalt surface will undergo resurfacing that is required about every 10 years.

“It’s a couple of years past the 10-year mark,” said Airport Manager Dave Ruppel. “We took really good care of it.”

Just like with roadways, Ruppel said, sometimes runway closures are necessary to repair asphalt surfaces.

The closure means all air services will be suspended for the duration of the work on the runway. Ruppel said there is other asphalt work that needs to be done, but the hope is to have the runway operational again for the June uptick in flight traffic.

This past shoulder season, there only was one flight to Denver per day from YVRA. Traditionally, Ruppel said, there have been two flights out of YVRA per day during the same time period.

The airport will remain open during the runway closure.

“We’ll continue to administratively operate.” Ruppel said. “There’s still other things we need to work on as an airport.”

The airport discovered last month that the Federal Aviation Administration had found the discretionary funds to complete the project, he said.

Now begins the task of communicating with those who use the airport about the need to make alternative plans. That includes those who have private aircraft at YVRA.

In addition to the runway, Ruppel said, asphalt work will be done on connectors and a section of aircraft parking ramp, and a new vehicle service road will be constructed, which the FAA wants airports to have to keep vehicles out of the aircraft movement area.

“We’re trying to get them all done at the same time,” he said. “You get some economies of scale.”

Aircraft traffic only will cease during the runway resurfacing but can continue through the other repairs and construction.

“We of course regret the inconvenience, but the reality is it’s something we have to do to maintain that runway in a good condition,” Ruppel said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Harvey Lyon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You have to be kidding me! So much for Steamboat and Hayden being "location neutral" areas. Christ, the flights Normally scheduled are terribly "iffy" and now the airport's "closed"? You guys, airport management staff, have to wake up and smell the roses or start looking for other work.

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Brian Kotowski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

How do you propose the necessary resurfacing take place absent a closure, Harvey? Dazzle us with your knowledge & expertise.

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John St Pierre 11 months, 3 weeks ago

guess all those private flights will fly into Steamboat Airport.... hopefully the city will realize the opportunity to generate new business and work to retain them coming back....

Of course will be intersting to see how many employees are needed to run a closed airport...

Oh and this scheduled closing report does not mention one very important aspect to the work.... WEATHER

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Brian Kotowski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Some, not all. A 4400 foot runway v. HDN's 10,000 feet.

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Scott Wedel 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If the private aircraft is so big that they cannot use SB Bob Adams Field then they can use the 5600 foot long runway at Craig,

If a MD81 can land at Craig then so can the LNBs with their planes.

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/TRAVEL/NEWS/03/15/wrong.airport/index.html

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Mark Ruckman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Jackson Hole with a 6,000 foot runaway was able to close for 5.5 days for resurfacing in 2009.

Flights were rerouted to another airport 1 hr and 45 min away with free shuttle service

http://blog.jacksonholeexperts.com/general-jackson-hole-information/jackson-hole-airport-to-be-closed-between-may-25th-and-may-31st/

As a frequent user of HDN, I want to know more about why HDN needs 60 days and can't accomplish the task in a similar time frame as Jackson Hole.

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Brian Kotowski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I know that YVRA underwent a resurfacing project within the last 5 years that resulted in a closure of a week or so. Clearly, some procedures are more comprehensive/involved than others. And I suspect there are FAA compliance issues; that a field like Bob Adams - which doesn't service the commercial heavy metal - isn't obliged to deal with.

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walt jones 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey what's the big deal? Republic has cancelled over 62% of their flights since the end of ski season so really in not much of a loss of flights!!! And yes I'm sure private jets can find alternatives. If a Citation can come in and out of SBS weekly I'm sure those others can as well minus the Gulfstreams and Challengers that are often at HDN.

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Mark Ruckman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Walt, Republic has had their issues. I suspect you don't have the data to back up your claim of 62%.

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Harvey Lyon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Brian, I don't claim to be a civil airport engineer, but I am an engineer and not toally ignorant. But if it takes 2 months of closure to get it done I'm sure its because some other contract didn't stand up to its sales pitch. There's another story out there.

YVRA is a major economical driver of NW Colorado. I'm sure the employees won't be laid off so now, for 20% of the year, their wages will be carried by the tax payer.

And one can't have a "regional airport" that closes for two months except in totally exceptional circumstance.

Something's fishy here....not routine maintenance.

Harv Lyon

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rhys jones 11 months, 3 weeks ago

That would've been a 2-week project for my old excavation outfit, D&O Contractors, Glendale, AZ. We could've put a whole Super Target in that space in two months -- pad, curbs, base, finish, asphalt, roads, parking lots, landscaping...

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rhys jones 11 months, 3 weeks ago

... while they built the Target. Sure you don't want a big store there?

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rhys jones 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Not to beat a dead horse, but let's think about this. This is no excavation; the site is already level and at grade -- this is a mere resurfacing... so first we send in a chipper, to tear up the top 8 or 10 inches, say (I'll try to keep the numbers conservative) and let's say he crawls at 1/4 MPH -- so it takes a whole man-day, 8 hours, to make one pass the full length of the runway (the contractor may opt for another approach, like quarter-mile segments, should he deem those more efficient; that's what construction is all about) let's say he's 12' wide, but you count on 10' swaths, due to edge overlap... how wide is the runway? Ain't flown Hayden recently. Let's say 100 feet. So that's 10 passes -- 10 man-days, 5-day weeks, no overtime. Add both of those, and you cut the time almost in half, although OT entails some production loss, and I hope Fred concurs on this point.

Of course we didn't sit on our laurels while the chipper did all this -- after two complete passes, so equipment is not opposing, we followed in with an optional scraper -- unlikely necessary, since it's level already -- but dozers for sure, to scrape off the debris -- a line of dump trucks to haul that off -- soon followed by base material, that then being leveled, maybe even two layers, of progressively finer texture... then the asphalt... we're doing this in a line, like ants, the last step four or five days behind the first... paint on stripes, and we've got a runway again.

Heck, it's easier than haying: No hills, no creeks, and you only have to wait on the last step to dry. Even throwing in a few rain days, we're still WAY under two months.

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Mark Ruckman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I emailed Dave Ruppel Tuesday AM with an inquire trying to understand how the airport arrived at 60 days. Interesting Dave is away until the 22nd with Dean Smith listed as his backup. I raised the same question to Dean and so far no response.

When I get a response I will share.

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rhys jones 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The above figures were off the top of my head, assuming a rock-bottom (pun intended) operation... but what if we had access to TWO chippers? Two dozers, dump trucks, belly dumps, rollers, LOTS of laborers with shovels (done LOTS of that; promoted to "Grade Checker") -- how might THAT affect the schedule? The bottom-line cost would remain the same; so you rent twice as much stuff, for half as long... Just thinking outside the good-ol'-boy, cigar-chomping, Routt County box here... you get me enough stuff, I'll have it done in a week.

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rhys jones 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Operators: I will call your references, maybe have a guy or two of my own. The right crew can knock it out.

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