Runway project complete at Skagit Regional Airport

BURLINGTON, Wash. — With the substantial completion of a major project to rebuild the primary runway at Skagit Regional Airport, the Port of Skagit now has the required infrastructure in place to support a new generation of development at the facility, according to airport officials.

Completing the Runway Crown Conversion and Longitudinal Gradient Adjustment project is a milestone in the Port of Skagit’s effort to develop Skagit Regional Airport as a Northwest hub for general and business aviation, company officials said. The port recently embarked on a new marketing program to draw attention to the airport among potential new tenants.

Congressman Rick Larsen speaks during the Runway 11-29 Commissioning Ceremony at Skagit Regional Airport on Oct. 19.

At a combined total cost of $14.4 million, the two-year runway improvement is the most expensive capital project in the Port of Skagit’s 48-year history. It began in 2011 with replacement of the runway’s failing drainage system. The 2012 work raised the east end of the runway 5 feet and converted the surface of the runway to a crown section to meet current FAA standards. In addition, taxiways have been reconfigured, the runway’s lighting system has been replaced with an updated system, and airport signage has been upgraded.

As a result of the project, Runway 11-29 now meets FAA standards for nearly all business jets, airport officials said.

Skagit Regional Airport generates nearly $86 million per year in economic and fiscal impacts, according to a report issued last spring by the Aviation Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. Aviation-related businesses at the airport and adjacent Bayview Business Park produced 346 direct jobs with an annual payroll of $17.2 million, plus 168 indirect jobs paying $5.9 million, the report said. Direct output by these businesses was estimated at $39.2 million, and indirect output was $18.4 million.

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