So what’s the plan for Mammoth Yosemite Airport? Mammoth’s Public Works Director Grady Dutton presented the five-year capital improvement plan to Mammoth’s Planning and Economic Development Commission on Wednesday.
What stood out was the part where Dutton mentioned the price tag for the proposed airport terminal expansion project: $32 million.
This is a much higher number than the $20 million figure bandied about three or four years ago when the project was first introduced.
Lunch called Assistant Airport Manager Brian Picken on Thursday to ask him about the discrepancy.
“It’s always been a $30 million project,” he said. The $20 million, added Picken, is for the building. Another $10 million is for infrastructure improvements to the runway apron, access road, parking lot, utilities, et. al.
Relocating the airport hangars is not contemplated as part of this construction phase.
According to Picken, Mammoth would be eligible for up to a 90% grant from the FAA for these improvements.
The airport’s annual $1 million grant from the FAA (for exceeding 10,000 commercial enplanements in a calendar year) could be applied as some or all of the Town’s matching funds.
Mammoth Lakes Tourism’s John Urdi said that a terminal expansion would allow the airport to accommodate a ~70% increase in commercial air capacity (90,000 seats).
In 2013, Brian Picken said the commercial airlines offered about 55,000 seats, and Mammoth had 30,858 enplanements.
in 2014, Picken said Mammoth’s enplanements dropped to 25,892, representing a 16% year-over-year decrease.
In FY 2013-2014, Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area combined to spend approximately $4.5 million subsidizing commercial air service.
Inyo County’s County Counsel, Marge Kemp Williams, hereby announced Thursday that she received an Advice Opinion from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) which concluded the Board of Supervisors’ consideration of the Adventure Trails project “will not have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect on any of the supervisors’ interests.”
According to Kemp-Williams, “The FPPC’s ruling clears the way for each member of the Board of Supervisors to participate in the decision making process regarding the Adventure Trails project, if he so chooses.”
Last month, the County rescheduled the Public Hearing for the Adventure Trails project to allow time for the FPPC to weigh in.
A Public Hearing for the Adventure Trails project is scheduled for Thursday, January 22 at 10 a.m. in Independence at the Legion Hall.