Better Runway, Lights Set for Fortuna, Calif. Airport

The lighting upgrades are scheduled for 2007, with the runway work planned for 2009 and 2010.


Rohnerville Airport is slated for reconstruction of its runways and new lighting in the next 25 years, pending approval from the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The lighting upgrades are scheduled for 2007, with the runway work planned for 2009 and 2010.

The improvements, as outlined by Airport Manager Jacquelyn Hulsey at Monday's Fortuna Chamber of Commerce meeting, are part of the Airports Master Plan.

The total price tag for improvements to the Rohnerville Airport in the next 25 years comes to an estimated $4.2 million. Of that, $4.01 million would come from the FAA.

Phase II of the work proposes two possibilities: constructing aprons (paved areas for airplane tie-downs and hangars) to the north and south of the runaway and/or construction of a 100-by-100-foot hangar with access road, apron, two taxi lanes and extension of the existing taxiway.

The third phase looks at the site now home to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office work farm and the county storage yard.

"Phase II development would include new corporate and T-hangars (for individual aircraft), two aprons, a new taxiway and taxi lanes to provide access from both apron areas to Runway 11," according to the Airports Master Plan.

Hulsey touched briefly on the future of expanding Rohnerville Airport's size to accommodate commercial traffic. Essentially, the bluff to the south and development to the north preclude extending the runways and providing space for the required safety zones, she said.

The second public meeting for Rohnerville Airport's Master Plan will be held at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Rohnerville Airport.

Much of Monday's presentation, however, addressed Humboldt County's aviation in general.

As to commercial service, Redwood Economic Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Foster explained that airlines cannot be compelled to provide service at a certain site. The airlines, he said, go where there is a financial return.

Currently, an effort is underway to persuade carriers to include Humboldt County in their lineup.



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