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Posted: 24 June 2009 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Takotna to get $21 million airport

By Tim Mowry

Published Wednesday, June 24, 2009

FAIRBANKS

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Posted: 24 June 2009 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The bush pilots will be impressed.  Apparently not a whole lot of state officials are.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Still, 21 million is a fair chunk of change for what amounts to a chunk of road. Think of it: It’s roughly the equivalent of a quarter-mile of four-lane freeway, including lights. I guess the ‘minimum standards’ are high enough that they can’t just slap down a layer of asphalt on a flat stretch and call it a day. I know that post 9/11 a lot of smaller airports had to meet standards that amounted to ‘can a passenger jet land here?’.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 07:31 AM

Still, 21 million is a fair chunk of change for what amounts to a chunk of road. Think of it: It’s roughly the equivalent of a quarter-mile of four-lane freeway, including lights. I guess the ‘minimum standards’ are high enough that they can’t just slap down a layer of asphalt on a flat stretch and call it a day. I know that post 9/11 a lot of smaller airports had to meet standards that amounted to ‘can a passenger jet land here?’.

Even with the proposed upgrade the runway is way too short for most passenger jets.  A lot of prop jobs could use it as they tend to have lower airspeed at landing but most jets would be SOL.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, it’s a pretty small airfield.  Even the little private grass airstrips around here are mostly longer than that.  And an airport facility is a bit more complex than is a stretch of road.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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While that seems like a lot, unfortunately all government projects cost a lot.  Right now at work I am calculating quantities for a small road project out on the reservation.  I have to take the original existing ground and compare it to the design compared to the actual as-built.  It takes some doing to coax those numbers out of my drawing software, lots of connecting the dots.  And that is just part of it, previously another guy entered in all the information to do stakeouts of everything from the centerlien of the road, to gutter lip, top back of curb, sidewalk, curb cuts, cut and fill staking, bluetopping, etc, etc.  I have a set of plans in front of me that is 168 pages long, and that is just for a road that is just a little over 7000 feet long. I just spent this morning an a good portion of yesterday verifying that the amount of curb and sidewalk to be paid closely resembles the amount called for in the plans so they know what to pay the contractor. I imagine for an airport it would be much more in depth.  More government agencies involved meaning more oversight, more people to put their two cents in, more standards to follow.  Not only the Department of Transportation is involved but also the Federal Aviation Administration, probably the Federal Communications Commission, along with others.
Pay for government projects is based upon federal pay scales, which is way higher than a normal worker would make for similar work that wasn’t government backed.  I loved working on forest service projects back in Missouri, I made a couple dollars more an hour for the same work.
I think if a lot of red tape and unnecessary oversight were cut out, things could be built much cheaper for the same quality, but agencies have to justify their existence by sticking their nose into everything.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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gray - 25 June 2009 08:37 AM
Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 07:31 AM

Still, 21 million is a fair chunk of change for what amounts to a chunk of road. Think of it: It’s roughly the equivalent of a quarter-mile of four-lane freeway, including lights. I guess the ‘minimum standards’ are high enough that they can’t just slap down a layer of asphalt on a flat stretch and call it a day. I know that post 9/11 a lot of smaller airports had to meet standards that amounted to ‘can a passenger jet land here?’.

Even with the proposed upgrade the runway is way too short for most passenger jets.  A lot of prop jobs could use it as they tend to have lower airspeed at landing but most jets would be SOL.

Depends on the circumstances. I never said it would be big enough for takeoff, but landing? You’d be amazed at what you can put down a jet in if you’re not picky.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 05:51 PM
gray - 25 June 2009 08:37 AM
Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 07:31 AM

Still, 21 million is a fair chunk of change for what amounts to a chunk of road. Think of it: It’s roughly the equivalent of a quarter-mile of four-lane freeway, including lights. I guess the ‘minimum standards’ are high enough that they can’t just slap down a layer of asphalt on a flat stretch and call it a day. I know that post 9/11 a lot of smaller airports had to meet standards that amounted to ‘can a passenger jet land here?’.

Even with the proposed upgrade the runway is way too short for most passenger jets.  A lot of prop jobs could use it as they tend to have lower airspeed at landing but most jets would be SOL.

Depends on the circumstances. I never said it would be big enough for takeoff, but landing? You’d be amazed at what you can put down a jet in if you’re not picky.

True.  It would have something the size of an RJ or smaller.  A 737-700, which is an average size passenger jet, needs at least 4,400 ft to land and about 6,100 to take off.  Since aircraft never land right at the end of the runway you can subtract about 200 - 1000 ft from the length depending on touchdown point which really lessens the amount of usable runway.  The guys who fly twin otters are probably loving this.  They are thinking “Finally I get to land on a real runway”.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 05:51 PM

Depends on the circumstances. I never said it would be big enough for takeoff, but landing? You’d be amazed at what you can put down a jet in if you’re not picky.

Especially if you’re not worried about the airplane being able to ever take off again afterward.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Accipiter - 25 June 2009 07:20 PM
Robin Bobcat - 25 June 2009 05:51 PM

Depends on the circumstances. I never said it would be big enough for takeoff, but landing? You’d be amazed at what you can put down a jet in if you’re not picky.

Especially if you’re not worried about the airplane being able to ever take off again afterward.

Exactly. You’d probably need *half* the runway a ‘minimum landing’ would require, if you don’t mind the underside of the plane being shredded or blowing out the tires when you brake hard.

Even still, it likely *will* suffice for smaller planes. A Learjet should be able to take off from that, and a medium-sized passenger jet should be able to make an emergency landing without complaint.

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4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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They need to have a system like aircraft carriers have that hold back the plane until the engines are at full speed then release them.

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Posted: 25 June 2009 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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NEO - 25 June 2009 09:30 PM

They need to have a system like aircraft carriers have that hold back the plane until the engines are at full speed then release them.

You mean a catapult.

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