12:00pm

Mon August 1, 2011
Local

FAA Funding Stalemate Halts Local Airport Improvements

A Congressional impasse over Federal Aviation Administration funding is halting construction plans at one Northern Colorado airport.

The Fort Collins-Loveland Airport had planned to shut down operations between August 15 and September 1 to repair its one runway. But an anticipated $7 million grant to fund the project hasn’t been approved. Airport Director Jason Licon says it’s now too late to follow through on construction plans this summer.

“With Congress forcing the FAA to shut down for the past week our grant was basically collateral damage from the political game playing, unfortunately,” he said. “So we’re basically forced to wait again for another year.”

In the meantime, Licon says the airport will make more than $35,000 in emergency repairs to make the runway last until next construction season.

The FAA’s authority to operate expired last Friday when Congress couldn't agree on keeping the agency open because of underlying partisan disputes, largely over labor rights and other issues.