Meetings set on land transfer to move airport runway


Four public meetings have been scheduled to hear comments about a plan to transfer land to relocate the primary runway at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.

The meetings are part of the process to conduct an environmental assessment of acquiring 188 acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management to move the airport runway 650 feet north. The BLM and Federal Aviation Administration will review and evaluate the assessment.

Amy Jordan, the business and administration manager of the airport, said a FAA runway safety team identified intersecting runways at the airport as a “hotspot” that poses risks. “This runway relocation will provide critical safety improvements for the Grand Junction Regional Airport.”

The proposed land for transfer is located just north and northwest of the airport and includes a portion of a special recreational management area under a proposed resource management plan. If the transfer is approved, the airport and BLM expect to construct a parking and staging area to mitigate effects on off-highway vehicle recreation on BLM land in the area.

The project will be part of an airport capital improvement program scheduled to begin in 2017 and completed in 10 to 12 years.

“This project has been in the works for about 20 years,” said Wayne Werkmeister, acting manager of the BLM Grand Junction Field Office. “We understand how important off-highway vehicle recreation is in this valley. Now we want to know what the public thinks about transferring this valuable BLM land used for recreation to help the airport improve safety.”

Public meetings to hear comments on the draft assessment are set for:

3 to 5 p.m. July 21 on the second floor of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Terminal, 2828 Walker Field Drive.

9:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 22 at the Mesa County Public Libraries central library,
442 N. Sixth St.

3:30 to 5:30 p.m. July 22 at the Fruita Community Center, 324 Coulson St.

8:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 23 at the Palisade Community Center, 120 W. Eighth St.

Printed copies of the assessment are available at the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority office, BLM Grand Junction Field Office and Mesa County Public  Library central library. The assessment also is available online at the Web sites at
www.blm.gov.co/st/en.fo.gjfo.html as well as www.gjairport.com.

Written comments may be e-mailed to ajordan@gjairport.com or mailed to Amy Jordan, business and administration manager, Grand Junction Regional Airport, 2828 Walker Field Drive, AT01, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Comments must include the names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the people who submit them.