Richland Airport Expansion | VideoChris Williams | 7/6/2012
"We put in for discretionary funding on that four years ago. It`s a deal where that money comes from Washington and it goes to the highest needs, so were fortunate to get it," said Airport Manager Bill Henderson.
When you think of airports that have the highest needs in the country, you might not have thought about Sidney-Richland. But its needs are just as big as anyone else`s.
"Why is Sidney even in the running for the need is because our enplanement schedule out of here went from roughly 4,000 to 10,000," said Henderson.
The new taxiway is not the only upgrade on the schedule.
"The lights that are out there that we are placing are over 20 years old. The newer ones are more efficient, they`re longer light bulbs, they`re halogen type bulb, they`re more intense," said Henderson.
The airport also has one-hundred and sixty acres of land it plans to put to use.
"What it will do is it will give us a chance for people that are looking for places to put hangers up in this oil impacted area. Both at the commercial level or private level," Henderson added.
Henderson knew oil was going to take off, and he is trying to keep the airport ahead of the game.
"It`s a very important part of this growth, and with that what were doin is gonna try to stay with the growth, not get behind a couple three years. All the sudden realize we shoulda been doin something two years ago," added Henderson.
Construction is set to begin July 15th, and should be done in October.