By Camille Troxel, June 3, 2013, KXLY.com
A Grant County International Airport runway that has been unusable for decades is getting a $4.2 million upgrade. The newly paved runway will be completed by the end of June.
“We’re really excited about this,” said Rich Mueller, Director of Facilities and Maintenance for the Port of Moses Lake, which owns Grant County International.
The new runway will allow the airport to keep up with the new technology, larger aircraft and demand they are seeing the aerospace industry. The area has essentially been a vacant lot for the airport and with new pavement it will bring new revenue because it will be able to support larger aircraft.
Mueller said the Port of Moses Lake pushed for the upgrade so that they could continue to be used by some of their biggest clients; the U.S. Air Force and Boeing. The project will enable Boeing to test their new 747-8 aircraft, which when fully loaded would approach the one million pound mark.
“We’re very fortunate that Boeing has chosen our airport to test their aircraft…and we want to keep the door open for them,” explained Mueller adding that this renovation will attract new business as well.
The FAA funded 90 percent of the project while the remaining 10 percent was provided by the Port of Moses Lake. Acme Concrete Paving has already begun laying the new pavement and Mueller said the project is running right on time.
“We’re going to let the world know that we’re here and we’re open for business,” said Mueller.