Local airports benefit from FAA grants

  The Federal Aviation Administration is granting more than $230,000 to Plumas County airports.

  All three airstrips — Gansner Field in Quincy, Rogers Field in Chester and Beckwourth Nervino near Portola — will receive money to develop airport layout plans. Gansner will receive $72,000 for the plan, while the other two are each slated to receive $63,000 for the work.

  Additionally, Gansner is set to receive $35,213 for a snowplow broom attachment.

  What is an airport layout plan?

  “It’s developing a vision for what the airports want to be in 20 years,” said Dony Sawchuk, the county’s director of facility services and airports. “It’s preparing for the next generation of aviation.”

  The plan will include land acquisition potential for runway extensions and safety zones. It will consider pavement upgrades and, at Gansner, include instrument approach.

  “Quincy doesn’t have it,” Sawchuk said.

  When asked about the broom attachment, Sawchuk said that the acquisition would help improve snow removal. He said that the airports in Chester and Beckwourth already have good equipment.

  The broom is a good option when the snow is light. “It also allows us to clean the deck of debris during the summer,” Sawchuk said.

  Looking ahead to winter, Sawchuk plans to be busy. Only he and one other staff member possess the license that allows them to clear the runways.

  “We are required to keep the airports clear,” Sawchuk said, noting that accumulation greater than 2 inches isn’t allowed.

  To assist with the airport layout plans, the county will develop a request for proposals for an airport engineer.

  “The FAA requires that we do this every five years,” Sawchuk said of the search.

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