Business View Magazine | September 2019

113 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2019 runway repair and rehab was very important to us, because that was the main runway that they used.” Another recent project concerned the replacement of the ancient electrical grid that RIAC inherited from the Air Force when it left over 50 years ago. Since the local electric provider, Xcel Electric, couldn’t obtain parts for the system’s many outmoded components, it needed to perform a complete upgrade with new substations and primary lines, while concurrently ramping up the grid’s power output from 4K to 12K. “The electrical grid is probably about 99.5 percent complete,” Stark reports. “The electric company has got almost all of their work done; they’re finishing up making the final connections to buildings and taking the old substations out. They have three substations they have to demolish – two of them are about 50 percent gone, so that project is well on its way and will be completed by the end of this year.” An ongoing project at RIAC is the creation of a land-use map that will help determine what areas of the Airport could potentially be utilized for both aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses. “The purpose of the land map is looking at how we would arrange, for instance, an industrial park,” says Stark. “Basically, we have a good Master Plan that lines out where aeronautical revenue generating and non-aeronautical revenue generating will go, but we don’t have it down to the point of saying ‘this is warehousing, this is manufacturing, that is commercial buildings, and the other thing is offices.’ We haven’t really drilled down to that level. That’s ongoing and involves a lot of potential, future expansion on our southeast side where we have, roughly, a thousand acres that can be developed.” Another ongoing project at RIAC, related to the land-use map, concerns the Airport’s terminal. An expansion concept study has been completed and now the funding process is underway. Stark explains: “There’s a part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program’s funds that is a set-aside for airports that have come out of the military, like this one. The program was originally set up for Air Force bases that came out of the BRAC closures. We were not one of those - we were about ten years before, so we had not previously qualified to receive those grants. However, for the last three years, we have applied for them. We knew we were not going to get it, but we wanted to build a case for our need for that grant. Our thoughts were that we had the exact same needs as anyone else who had a base close, and in this town, in particular, it just killed the economy in ’67 when they closed it, and realistically, we probably have not fully recovered. We’re only now getting to the point where we think we’re almost to where we were before. “The point is that we felt that, just because of bad timing, we were left out of that process. So, we went through the process of applying and getting denied, and then we worked through our Congressman’s office to have legislation done that would modify that act that established that grant. And we were successful. So, as of January of this year, it was changed and we became eligible. They opened up another grant in April and we applied. We have not gotten an acceptance letter ROSWELL INTERNAT IONAL A I R CENTER