Improvements come to airport |

Improvements come to airport

by Merrie Leininger

Airport improvements being completed this summer and plans in the works mirror the growth in Douglas County.

“Yes we’re definitely growing,” said Minden-Tahoe Airport Operations Supervisor Trent Moyers.

Monolith Enterprises, Inc., owned by former Gardnerville businessman Scott Lether, is currently negotiating the lease of land at the airport to build a “corporate business air park.”

“I am putting office space above the hangars so that business owners can work out of their office and fly in and out as they please,” Lether said.

The four buildings will be built in phases, as they are leased. Fourteen offices and 14 hangars capable of storing twin engine and corporate aircraft will be built. The total cost will be $2.7 million, Lether said.

He said the site adjacent to the airport with runway and road access is already in place and he has approval from the county to build, it is now just a matter of funding.

Lether, whose background is as an aircraft mechanic and engineer, thanked airport director Jim Braswell and County Manager Dan Holler for their help in getting the development into Douglas County.

Lether said the main reason he wanted to build in Douglas County was to come home.

He used to live in Gardnerville for 22 years and owned a Port of Sub here before he moved to Washington.

For more information about leasing office and hangar space from Lether, write to Monolith Enterprises, Inc. 8019 94th Ave. NE, Arlington, Washington 98223.

He can also be reached by phone at (360)-659-1580 or fax at (360)-658-1720.

n Airport improvements. Within a few days the gliders’ runway and taxiway will be completed. Both were repaved after years of deterioration, Moyers said.

Because of paving, the gliders have been using the runway usually reserved for power aircraft.

“So it is really busy, especially at this time of year, but there really isn’t any other time to do it,” Moyers said. “They have been cooperating very well together.”

In a month the area around the runway will be reseeded and revegetated, Moyers said.

The resurfacing cost a total of $945,561, of which the county paid 6.25 percent. The Federal Aviation Administration paid the rest out of the annual airport improvements budget.

n Rain, rain. The automated weather observation station will allow more accurate, up-to-the-minute weather information for pilots.

The system will be totally automated and all pilots will have to do is call up from home or radio into it.

The system should be on-line in about 30 days. It will report on wind direction and speed, visibility, precipitation type and intensity, cloud height, ambient temperature, dew point and barometric pressure, but it will not have the forecasts.

Additional information such as runway closures or obstructions can be posted on it and a terminal in the administration building will also display all the information.

“It is the first step in the instrument approach system,” Moyers said. “That will allow more flying when there is limited visibility.”

The system costs $100,000, of which the county paid 6.25 percent.

n Beacon in the night. A new rotating beacon is also expected to be up and running within 30 days. The beacon is simply a light that allows pilots to pinpoint the airport at night.

The $40,000 beacon cost less than it would cost to keep repairing the old one, Moyers said.

n New t-hangars. Twenty-four new t-hangars are behind schedule, but are still planned to be completed by years’ end.

“The wet weather in the spring delayed pouring the foundations, but they are back on schedule now,” Moyers said.

About 15 hangars have already been reserved. The airport already has 50 hangars, but they have been filled and the demand was high for more. Deposits are $500 each.

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