Congressman Salazar announces grant to improve medical flight access and general aviation for Astronaut Rominger Airport
Today, Congressman John Salazar announced $250,000 in Colorado Aeronautical Board funding for upgrades to Del Norte's Astronaut Rominger Airport. The project is phase one of a three-phase project to construct a new runway to serve general aviation and improve access to the Rio Grande Hospital with emergency air medical transport.
The first two phases of the project include earth work, grading and site preparation. The third phase will include paving. Rio Grande County and the Colorado Department of Transportation in conjunction with Congressman Salazar have been working together to move this effort forward for the past two years and the funding of phase one sets this project in motion for an estimated completion in 2011. Phase two of the project will go before the Colorado Aeronautical Board in their next grant award hearing in early November.
On the airport upgrades, Congressman Salazar offered the following statement: "As a pilot, I've flown in and out of Del Norte's airport over the years. The timing of this funding from the state couldn't be better with the new hospital in Del Norte and the need for a runway to support critical, time-sensitive fixed wing air medical services. This new runway will make a life-saving difference in transportation time for medical providers in Rio Grande County. I congratulate the efforts of Rio Grande County, the Del Norte Economic Development Council and Rio Grande Hospital for their efforts to get this project off the ground."
On the funding, Rio Grande County Commissioner Dennis Murphy offered the following remarks: "This has been needed for a long time. We've had the helicopter service available for transport but a limited fixed wing operation. The improved runway will save time in emergency medical situations and we appreciate CDOT stepping forward and we appreciate all of the Congressman's help."