City airport expansion on horizon

Officials plan to extend the runway at the Clovis Municipal Airport to the north. The city bought the land for the planned expansion in 1988. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

CNJ staff

Plans to extend the Clovis Municipal Airport’s runway to accommodate larger planes is waiting for the completion of an environmental assessment, according to airport Director Steve Summers.

The extension will allow the airport to handle more corporate aircraft, larger turboprop planes and 30-passenger regional jets, Summers said.

Once the runway is extended by 1,800 feet to 8,000 feet, roundtrip flights
to Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas, and Houston could be offered at the Clovis airport, Summers said.

The city purchased land for the extension in 1988, he said.

The airport currently offers roundtrip flights to Denver and Albuquerque through Great Lakes Airlines, he said. Such flights are limited to 19 passengers, he said.

“Passenger boarding will have to justify wherever we go. The airlines will come if they think there is demand,” Summers said.

Summers estimates construction for the runway extension will begin in April 2007 and wrap up by October 2007.

Ultimately, airport officials want to extend the runway to 8,800 feet, which would allow 100-passenger flights.

Federal funds will be used for the majority of the 1,800-foot extension, with the city supplying 2.5 percent, or about $60,000, and the state supplying another 2.5 percent, Summers said. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.4 million.

Drainage structure upgrades are already under way at the airport, Summers said.
The airport is also replacing its rescue and firefighting vehicle. Summers said having an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle is part of an FAA mandate for scheduled air service.

In February, the Clovis airport received $890,000 in federal funds for construction and purchase of the new aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle.

Go figure

2 — Round trips Great Lakes Airlines makes per day Monday through Friday between Clovis and Albuquerque

19 — Passengers allowed on planes that currently operate out of Clovis airport

30 — Passengers that would be allowed on planes after runway expansion

1,800 — Length in feet the city plans to extend runway

6,200 — Length in feet of the current runway

60,000 — Estimated cost to city in dollars of runway expansion

1988 — Year the city of Clovis purchased land for a runway extension

Source: Clovis Municipal Airport Director Steve Summers