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Angel Fire airport upgrades complete by mid-summer

ANGEL FIRE — The Angel Fire Resort airport has been undergoing upgrades, totaling about $465,000, that when finished will allow the facility to receive small business jets, the size of a Gulf Stream IV. The upgrades will also include infrastructure to make the hangar area more friendly for those who want a more permanent area for storage and safeguarding of aircraft. According to Mike Provine, a senior civil engineer with Molzen Corbin, an engineering and consulting firm in Albuquerque, the work will see completion by mid-summer. “Right now we are waiting on the weather,” Provine said. “But by next week a state rating study for general aviation airports across the state will be ready and shown to the Colfax County Commission during their next meeting.” If the study is approved by the commission for posting on the county’s website, the public will be able to access it at that time. “Right now the runway is rated for about 45,000 pounds. But we should see an increase in the rating capacity in the new study,” Provine said. There are three projects currently in the works. The largest is the construction and repair of runway curtains. The curtains protect the edges of the runway from erosion and damage should aircraft veer off the tarmac. It is a $400,000 project with the Federal Aviation Administration putting up 90 percent of the funding. Colfax County is funding the remaining 10 percent, about $40,000. Work on the airport entrance road and the extension of water and sewer to the new hangar area, along with the erection of a barrier, will cost around $200,000. The New Mexico Aviation Department is funding 90 percent of the project, or $180,000, with Colfax County funding the remaining $20,000. Pavement rehabilitation to repair cracks in the aircraft parking area is the least expensive project. It is posting a $65,000 price tag, with the New Mexico Department of Public Transportation funding the project. Area pilots expressed the most interest in the development of a hangar site. When it is completed, pilots can either lease hangar space or build to suit. Previous projects completed at the airport are a barrier fence to keep wildlife from crossing the runway and taxiway, and a new runway.