Airport Invests $1.7 Million in Infrastructure


YOU’RE WATCHING LOCAL NEWS DURANGO. I’M DEBORAH
URODA. A $1.7 MILLION RENOVATION PROJECT AT THE DURANGO LA PLATA COUNTY AIRPORT MAY NOT
LOOK LIKE MUCH TO AN OUTSIDER. BUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES CHANGES EVENTUALLY COULD BOOST THE LOCAL ECONOMY
WITH THE ARRIVAL OF A THIRD AIRLINE CARRIER IN THE REGION. AIRPORT AND AIRLINE OFFICIALS
HOSTED A SMALL RIBBON-CUTTIING CEREMONY AND TOUR OF THE RECENTLY COMPLETED RENOVATION
PROJECT THAT ADDED A 4,500-SQUARE FOOT BAGGAGE-HANDLING FACILITY, OFFICES, AND A TICKET COUNTER. AIRPORT
MANAGER TONY VICARI SAID THE ADDITIONS NOW ALLOW THE AIRPORT TO RECRUIT A THIRD COMMERCIAL
AIRLINE TO JOIN UNITED AND AMERICAN. ONE OF THE MOST VISIBLE ADDITIONS IS THE AUTOMATED
BAGGAGE CONVEYOR BELT THAT MOVES LUGGAGE FROM TICKETING TO TRANSPORTATION SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
SCANNERS AND INTO A STAGING AREA FOR LOADING THEM INTO PLANES. THE BELT MOVES LUGGAGE MORE
RAPIDLY AND EFFICIENTLY TO ENSURE THEY ARRIVE AT THEIR DESTINATION ALONG WITH THEIR OWNERS. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION STARTS BACK HERE, SO
I REALLY APPRECIATE THE AREA, MAKING THE AIRPORT MORE OPERATIONAL. THE PUBLIC MAY NEVER COME
BACK HERE TO SEE, BUT I WANT ALL OF YOU GUYS TO KNOW THAT YOU RECOGNIZE HOW PAINFUL IT
IS AND THANK YOU FOR COMING TOGETHER ON THIS PROJECT. VICARI NOTED THAT THE PROJECT WAS THE FIRST
MAJOR INVESTMENT IN THE AIRPORT SINCE IT OPENED IN 1988. THE EXPANSION WAS SELF-FUNDED. THIS WAS COMPLETELY FUNDED WITH AIRPORT FUNDING.
THERE’S NO CITY AND COUNTY TAX DOLLARS THAT WERE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROJECT, AND THIS
IS A MIX OF AIRPORT CASH RESERVES AND PASSENGER FACILITY CHARGES, EXPENDITURE. SO EVERYTHING
YOU SEE HERE IS ESSENTIALLY BROUGHT ABOUT THROUGH USER FEES AT THE AIRPORT. SO THOSE
THAT USE THE FACILITY ULTIMATELY PAY FOR IT FOR THEIR FEES ASSOCIATED. THE LATEST RENOVATIONS WERE THE FIRST OF MANY
MORE TO COME AS THE AIRPORT COMMISSION WORKS ON A MASTER PLAN FOR TERMINAL IMPROVEMENTS.
IN 2016, VOTERS TURNED DOWN A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE TO FUND CONSTRUCTION ON A NEW
TERMINAL. CURRENT OPTIONS NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION WOULD EXAND THE CURRENT TERMINAL ON SITE.
YOU CAN VIEW THE AIRPORT EXPANSION OPTIONS AT FLY DURANGO DOT COM. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF LOCAL
NEWS NETWORK DURANGO. YOU CAN FIND THIS AND OTHER LOCAL NEWS STORIES ON DURANGO T V DOT
COM, WHERE YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR DAILY STORIES DELIVERED TO YOUR IN-BOX. YOU CAN ALSO CATCH
US ON DURANGO CABLE CHANNEL 15 OR ON OUR DIGITAL NETWORK AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS AROUND TOWN.
I’M DEBORAH URODA FOR LOCAL NEWS DURANGO.

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