The Tooele Valley Airport at the moment serves as an necessary facility in increasing the varieties of aviation providers out there within the Wasatch Entrance area and in Utah’s wildland firefighting efforts; nonetheless, the small facility itself does not have water or sewage connections.
That is largely as a result of it was primarily out in the course of nowhere when Salt Lake Metropolis acquired the final aviation airport in 1993. The small airfield is positioned between Stansbury Park and Grantsville in Tooele County; on the time, neither of these cities might supply utilities to the airport, says Brady Fredrickson, the planning director for the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports.
“The county hadn’t developed the system that was near the airport,” he stated in an interview with KSL.com Friday. “For years and years, it was an extended distance to get any water or sewer to this facility.”
That would quickly change because the Tooele Valley inhabitants grows. The county’s progress in recent times has resulted in close by cities increasing nearer and nearer to the airport, which is closing the earlier service hole that existed for many years.
As this occurs, the division of airports is searching for to amend its present finances so as to add $900,000 so it could actually design new sewer and water utility connections utilizing Grantsville utilities. The request is likely one of the 4 new finances amendments that the division is searching for, which additionally contains the expedition of a $683 million 16-gate enlargement on the Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport.
The price of the Tooele Valley Airport mission — and the three others — are lined by “touchdown charges, terminal leases, and different charges paid by the airways,” in keeping with a public doc included within the finances modification request. The division shouldn’t be searching for any funding from the town’s basic fund.
“Water and sewer (are) not a really horny factor to speak about, however one thing that is actually crucial,” stated Shane Andreasen, the director of administration and business providers for the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports, in a presentation with the Salt Lake Metropolis Council on Tuesday.
Why the Tooele airport issues
The division of airports operates the Tooele Valley Airport to assist cowl all kinds of aviation providers exterior of the flagship Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport. The airfield helps business-related flying and legislation enforcement/hearth/rescue flying providers, such because the Bureau of Land Administration’s wildfire operations. That is on high of flight coaching and leisure flying, similar to skydiving.
The division additionally operates the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan as such a extension, too. Fredrickson stated these three airports work in concord with each other. The small airports, particularly, cut back the demand for smaller planes taking off and touchdown at Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport, which opens up airspace and permits the primary airport to increase business airline service.
“We discuss with (the Tooele airport) as a diamond within the tough as a result of it’s a very important airport within the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports system,” Fredrickson stated. “The whole lot we do right here to reinforce and get extra of that leisure plane and flight coaching to maneuver out to right here, or need to relocate out to Tooele, it takes that plane out of the Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide airspace — and that is sort of a significant factor for us.”
Transferring firefighting, leisure and academic flight providers out of the primary airport additionally makes it simpler for smaller plane to take off and land as a result of pilots do not have to attend for “a financial institution” of bigger plane to depart the airspace, he added.
Whereas it does not have water or sewage, the Tooele Valley Airport is likely one of the few airports of its dimension that has an instrument touchdown system, in keeping with Invoice Wyatt, govt director of the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports. This service provides small plane pilots a spot to land in unhealthy climate, and it permits the small airfield to be a significant participant in attacking Utah wildfires.
The finances modification request doc states that the division of airports just lately reached a 20-year settlement with the BLM so it could actually stay a launching level for federal firefighting plane. The airport will likely be dwelling to the bureau’s Single Engine Airtanker Operations, or SEATs, fleet, in keeping with Andreasen.
“They’re going to be placing out fires for a very long time in our area, and they’ll be spending over $7 million out on that facility in Tooele,” he stated
Water and sewage utilities could make approach for brand spanking new services for firefighting pilots. It additionally permits for future progress in flight coaching providers and leisure flying. For instance, Skydive Utah, a well-liked skydiving firm that makes use of the airport, has expressed curiosity in increasing operations sooner or later, in keeping with Fredrickson.
As he factors out, the best utilities — like water and sewage — are wanted to increase enterprise. The general public doc notes that the division of airports is working with the town’s public utility division, in addition to the town of Grantsville and different Tooele County entities on the design. Fredrickson estimates it can price one other $9 million so as to add the services as soon as the design is prepared within the close to future.
However as soon as full, airport officers imagine the diamond that’s the Tooele Valley Airport has the flexibility to lastly glisten.
“It has a variety of potential to increase and serve the neighborhood,” Fredrickson stated. “I believe it will be a very good financial driver for Tooele County if we develop it proper.”