Safford Regional Airport

The Safford Regional Airport will soon have a new sweeper for its runways and a study to chart its future layout.

SAFFORD — In its July 8 meeting, the Safford City Council looked toward the Safford Regional Airport’s future while taking care of its present, approving a layout plan study and the purchase of a new vacuum sweeper.

The study will develop a revised Airport Layout Plan (ALP), which will determine the best development to meet existing needs and future demand. The ALP will also produce updated layout plan drawings that depict proposed development.

“It will serve as a planning tool for expansion and maintenance of our airport in the future,” said Public Works Director/City Engineer Randy Petty.

The study will provide aviation demand forecasts and facility requirements for the next 20 years. It will be compiled by C&S Companies, a national engineering firm with a Scottsdale office, for a $247,195 fee.

Reimbursable grant agreements with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which the council also approved, will cover much of the study’s cost. The FAA grant was set at 91.06 percent, or roughly $225,000, and the ADOT grant at 4.47 percent — roughly $11,000. The city’s share of the fee will also be 4.47 percent, which was included in the capital improvement plan under its fiscal year 2020 budget.

The sweeper purchase will not only give the airport its own equipment — currently street sweepers are being used to clear debris from its runways and taxiway — but also avoid pavement damage from those sweepers’ steel bristles. The new sweeper’s bristles will be of different material, and it will be stationed at the airport.

Sealed bids for the sweeper were opened July 2 and forwarded to C&S Companies for review. While a bidder has not yet been chosen, FAA and ADOT grants will also help cover the cost, at the same 91.06 and 4.47 percentages. The city’s capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2020 budgeted $150,000 for a sweeper, with grant funding budgeted at roughly $137,000.

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