Given the attendance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Margie Drilling at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear Airport District, land uses for the former Big Bear City Park were given considerable discussion. If the Airport District were to purchase the former park, which is just east of the airport across Greenway (which is Highways 18 and 38), it would be purchased with FAA grant money, which comes with its own set of obligations (such as safety) and assurances. Among those assurances are stipulations for compatible land use, noise issues, low density given the Runway Safety Area and Runway Protection Zone, and no standing water (such as a pond or wetlands) so as not to serve as a bird attractant near the airport. Given review by the FAA’s representative, the Airport District Board and community members in attendance on February 4, it was determined that a fenced dog park and walking paths would likely be the best choice for the area, given all factors. If the Airport District did indeed purchase the 6+ acres of the former park, it could allow for the eventual re-routing of Greenway to the perimeter of the Runway Safety Area, which would bring the airport into compliance with the FAA but is not a condition of funding. The meeting of the Airport Board also addressed Capital Improvement Projects for the airport. Among those, plans are underway to have Southwest Construction of Fallbrook install six heli parking pads on the south ramp, to accommodate firefighting equipment and logistics for emergency mobilization. There are also plans to do pavement rehabilitation at the northeast corner of the taxiway. This project would first require excavation of the soil, notes General Manager Garry Dokter, to allow for lime treatment to stabilize the soil. The Matich Corporation provided the lowest bid on this project, though the airport is applying for FAA grant money to fund the project.
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