GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
It’s time to call to order at the first Airport Authority Board Meeting since the announcement of the CARES Act. The Grand Junction Regional Airport will get $5.6 million to support airport operations, and the check could be deposited as early as next week.
The Grand Junction Regional Airport is already ahead of schedule on most projects, and there is no need to spend the $5.6 million in a hurry since there’s no time limit. One of the airport projects is the new airport barrier that’s already 70% complete. Eric Trinklein says,”That’s 11 miles of fence. The road is installed. They’re working on the final punch list items on that.”
Before the $5.6 million can be distributed to the airport, one big rule is in place under much debate from airports across the country. Executive Director of Grand Junction Regional, Angela Padalecki says, “Service must be provided from May to end of September, 5 times per week for any destination served as of March 1st.” She goes on to use Allegiant Air as the example toward the improbable rule. “It’s twice weekly service. So, it’s impractical for the DOT to require Allegiant to increase that service in this low demand period to 5 times per week,” says Padalecki.
The Stay-At-Home Order is set to expire on April 26th for Colorado, but the airport is planning for the Governor’s sustainability phase of the process by blocking the middle passenger seats on planes, and possibly installing automated boarding gates.
Finally, the Grand Junction Regional Airport has a plan for the 100 furloughed employees. Joe Burtard says, “Each Summer the airport hires temporary employees to go through a temp agency that hires temporary employees to do basically, land site maintenance.”