WINTERSVILLE - The Jefferson County Regional Airport Authority learned Monday the closure of the runway for paving has been delayed until Monday because of rain.
The runway will be closed until May 31 for the paving of the runway extension and an overlay of asphalt for the existing runway.
Gary Folden, airport authority secretary, said the Federal Aviation Administration will require pilots to circle the runway once before landing. Folden said the FAA is requiring a survey of the approaches to ensure there are no obstructions that could pose a safety problem. The survey will cost in the range of $60,000 to $120,000 and will take upward of a year to complete. Folden said pilots will be able to do a straight approach without circling once the survey is completed and approved by the FAA.
"Jets don't want to circle. They want to come straight in," Folden said.
Wheeling-Ohio County Airport will be loaning the Jefferson County airport illuminated signs with a large X that will warn pilots at night that the runway is closed.
Folden also said the Ohio Department of Transportation has extended the deadline for its grant for the runway extension project. The Ohio Department of Development and ODOT both gave the county $750,000 in grants for the project. The Ohio Department of Development already has extended the grant until the end of the year, and ODOT now has done the same. Both grants were to expire in June.
The airport authority also increased the line item for legal fees. The authority is in negotiations to sell 50 percent of the mineral rights at the airport for money for future projects. Emens and Wolper law firm of Columbus has been retained for negotiations and a contract. The line item for legal fees has been increased to $10,000.
The airport authority also was informed the gas and oil lease for the airport property again has been transferred. Hess Corp. sold the lease to American Energy Utica. This is the third time the lease has been transferred.
The term for Cathy Cucarese, airport authority president for the past eight years and a member for more than 18 years, will expire in June and she asked not to be reappointed.
Folden said the airport authority is accepting applications for a replacement, preferably a pilot.
The airport authority also will be asking the county commissioners for approval to hire two seasonal employees.
(Law can be contacted at email@example.com.)