Washington Airport Investment Study ‘solutions phase’ kicks off

Washington state’s Airport Investment Study is now in its second phase to identify potential solutions to meet Washington’s aviation system needs. The study’s advisory committee recommended that the Washington State Department of Transportation initiate this second “Solutions Phase” after the first phase revealed funding gaps.

The first phase of the study found that the state’s 134 public-use airports will need $3.6 billion in projects during the next 20 years. WSDOT’s Airport Aid Program provides an average of $1.1 million in state airport grants per year. During the 20-year study period the state grant program is forecasted to average $1.4 million per year. WSDOT estimates an average of $12 million per year is needed to meet the state’s portion of the overall $3.6 billion in project needs.

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E55 turns to crowdsourcing to raise funds for improvements

In its continuing fight to save Ocean Ridge Airport (E55) near Gualala, Calif., the Bower family has launched a campaign on Smallknot, an online crowdsourcing site for small businesses. According to a report on AVweb, the family needs to raise $60,000 to put an asphalt slurry coating on the runway. The California Department of Transportation has ordered that the crumbling runway be fixed.

Minden-Tahoe Airport to host World War II aircraft

Wings of Freedom Plane

MINDEN, Nevada — The Wings of Freedom Tour, honoring World War II veterans, including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” and P-51 Mustang fighter will arrive at Minden-Tahoe Airport at noon on June 2 and will be on display until noon on June 4.

Ground tours and display hours will be held from 12- 5 p.m. on Monday, June 2; 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3; and from 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4.

Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. World War II Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. The regular price for tours is $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Discounted rates for school groups are also offered.

Visitors also can experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a 30-minute flight aboard either the B-17 or B-24 for $450 per person. The P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924

The Nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour is celebrating its 25th year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually.

For more information about the tour stop at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, e-mail Chris Johnson, Airport Operations Supervisor at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, at cjohnson@co.douglas.nv.us or call 775-782-9871.

The tour is organized by the Collings Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” allowing people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation.