City of Mesa
Official Website of the City of Mesa, Arizona
City of Mesa News Article
Airport completes pavement project, continues airport improvements
By: Dee Anne Thomas
12/26/12 5:35 PM

Falcon Field Airport
For Release: Dec. 17, 2012
Contact: Dee Anne Thomas
Marketing/Communications Specialist II

With the help of state grants, Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport plans to invest more than $3 million in ramp and lighting improvements during the next two years to maintain high-quality facilities and safety.

The Airport recently completed the first of two phases of a pavement rehabilitation project on aircraft parking ramps that had reached the end of their useful life cycle. The improvements have an approximate construction cost of $1.6 million. A state aviation grant covering 90 percent of costs was received from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and the Airport is paying 10 percent. Dibble Engineering of Phoenix designed the project, and Nesbitt Contracting of Tempe performed the construction. 

A second ADOT grant totaling $1.8 million has been requested to construct the project’s second phase next year, with the Airport providing $200,000 in matching funds. If approved, the grant would likely be announced in summer 2013, and construction would begin next fall.
“These pavement projects are important components to keeping Falcon Field facilities in top condition and ensuring safety,” Airport Director Corinne Nystrom said. “Infrastructure quality and excellent customer service are what keep pilots and businesses coming here.”

The Airport also is working on design of additional projects. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established a nationwide Runway Safety Program in 2002, and Falcon Field has been an active partner. Earlier this year as part of a runway safety project, the Airport installed elevated runway guard lights at several runway intersections to provide additional visual warning to those who are about to enter a runway. They are intended to reduce the potential for aircraft, vehicles, pedestrians and equipment to inadvertently enter a runway. With FAA financial assistance through an Airport Improvement Program grant, the Airport is currently designing installation of the lights at all remaining runway intersections not currently equipped with them, and construction is slated for summer 2013.

Falcon Field will also be designing replacements and upgrades of existing airfield lighting components for both of its two runways. The project will replace Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI), a visual aid that provides guidance information to help pilots acquire and maintain the correct vertical approach path to a runway, and Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL), which help pilots identify the approach end of a runway at night or during inclement weather.

The projects will feature new-generation light emitting diode (LED) lights rather than traditional incandescent lights as part of the airport’s environmental program and to reduce long-term maintenance and electrical costs. The lights use less electricity, produce less heat and contain no mercury. Since they are encased in plastic, they are not as easily damaged as incandescent bulbs and require less frequent replacement.

“It’s important to use new technologies when they can help us reduce costs and environmental impacts,” Nystrom said. “Falcon Field continually strives to consider and implement innovative products when it makes sense.”  

In addition to airfield improvements, Falcon Field also recently selected DWL Architects to design renovations to the Airport terminal building. Planned improvements include updating the exterior, lobby, public waiting area, pilot briefing room, and restrooms. The Airport also plans to select a firm this fiscal year for a project to redesign directional signage, roadway landscaping, and lighting. The projects are part of the five-year capital improvement plan to improve the Airport’s appearance and functionality.

More than 700 aircraft are based at Falcon Field, which is owned and operated by the City of Mesa. The 105 existing airport businesses employ more than 1,000 people. Each year an estimated $2.3 billion is contributed to the local economy by the airport, on-airport businesses, and related businesses surrounding the airport in northeast Mesa.  


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