Salida Airport – Harriet Alexander Field will finish the year with higher than ever income from fuel sales, thanks in part to the number of aircraft that were based or fueled at the facility while fighting the recent Decker Fire.

A Chinook helicopter was one of several helicopters dropping water on the Decker Fire, working from Salida Airport — Harriet Alexander Field. Photo by Jan Wondra.

Airport Manager Zech Papp told the Airport Advisory Committee last week that fuel sales topped 58,700 gallons year-to-date, compared with about 40,000 gallons last year, bringing in more than $212,000 in revenue.

Papp told the Airport Advisory Committee that some repairs will be needed on the fuel system due to small leaks in an overflow container known as a spill bucket at one of the fuel farm tanks.

The repairs must be done before any more fuel can be delivered to the facility, Papp reported, though supplies currently are more than adequate for current traffic.

He added that it must be determined whether any soil near the tank was contaminated. If so, mitigation must be performed, he said, but he expects little impact, because any leakage is thought to have been minor.

Major construction in the new year will involve repairs to the main runway surface, including crack repair, chip seal and sealing.

It was hoped Federal Aviation Administration funds might be available for a needed extension of the airport’s taxiway, but that is not the case, Papp reported.

The erection of a new airport beacon still awaits approval from the county for a height variance. The new beacon will be 50 feet high instead of the current 35 feet. The work will be undertaken in 2020.

The advisory committee also learned of the sale of one hangar on the airport property, to be utilized by an existing hangar owner for more aircraft storage, handled under the standard 20-year land lease.

Gliders at Harriet Alexander Field for a summer 2019 event. Photo by Dan Smith.

Among other items, Papp reported the purchase of a rental plane would again allow flight training for student pilots.

The new year will also see planning for a scheduled July 11th community air show at the facility.

Papp said he is currently pursuing event participants and identifying funding for those, as well as funding insurance and auxiliary items such as barricades and portable toilets for the event.