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Airport sets $60 million budget

Spokane International Airport directors today unanimously voted to pass a $60.3 million 2011 budget along to Spokane County and the City of Spokane for approval.

The budget, split $28 million for operations and $32.3 million for capital expenditures, is five percent higher than the 2010 budget, but does not call for any fee increases to either the airlines or the public, airport Finance Manager Dave Armstrong said.

Spokane International is among the few airports with boardings and revenues tracking ahead of 2009 levels, he said.

The city and county own the airport.

 

 

Airport runway extension completed

Spokane International Airport will reopen its main, newly expanded runway Thursday at 8 a.m.

The two-year, $30.7 million project increased the runway length to 11,002 feet, an additional 2,000 feet. The parallel taxiway was also extended 2,000 feet.

New navigational aids were installed. The Federal Aviation Administration will complete testing of all the new equipment in November, following 1,000 hours of continuous operation.

Electric Ave. was moved to allow for the additional length.

Funds for the project came from a $4.50 passenger fee and federal stimulus money.

  

Former hospital CEO to manage airport

Spokane International Airport directors today nominated former Providence Health Care chief executive Ryland “Skip” Davis to be interim manager.

If approved by the Spokane City Council and County Commissioners, he would replace Neal Sealock, who is retiring after five years in the position to pursue a Ph.D.

The board accepted Sealock’s resignation today.

Davis retired as head of Providence in 2008. A pilot who owns an airplane hangared at Felts Field, he said he has monitored aviation issues for years. 

Davis said he will serve while the board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement, but added “I don’t intend this to be a caretaker kind of period.”

He said he wants to draw more attention to the airport’s potential as an economic driver for the region.

Airport director resigns

Spokane International Airport Director Neal Sealock has submitted his resignation, effective July 21.

Sealock, who became director in December 2005 after 31 years in the U.S. Army, said he wants to spend more time with his family, and pursue a doctorate.

Dave Brukardt, head of the airport board of director’s personnel Committee, noted the improvements made while Sealock was in charge, including remodeling of the concessions area and main runway extension.

Brukardt said the board would begin the search for a replacement at its July 21 meeting.

Airport traffic off slightly in February

Boardings at Spokane International Airport declined slightly in February, but numbers for the first two months of 2010 remain above 2009 totals.

In February, 106,314 passengers embarked at SIA, off 2.71 percent from February 2009. The total for January and February was 441,092, up less than 1,000 from 2009.

Freight tonnage at SIA and Felts Field decreased for the month, and the year so far.

Other Felts Field operatons increased more than 16 percent for February, and so far in 2010