Fair warning! There will be zero flights in and out of the California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport — that’s the one in McKinleyville — in mid-August of this year. They’re shutting the sucker down completely in order to perform some upgrades.
Press release from the County of Humboldt:
The Humboldt County Department of Aviation will begin Phase 1 of the California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport (ACV) Runway and Electrical Rehabilitation Project in June. This project will be conducted in three phases to make much needed improvements to ACV’s primary runway, which was last rehabilitated in 1994.
Work required for this project will take place in three phases from June to December, however, commercial air service at ACV is expected to be impacted from Aug. 14 through Aug. 25. Other airport users including medical operators, US Coast Guard and general aviation users will be impacted by overnight closures at various times during the duration of the project. Travelers are encouraged to review the projected project schedule below and take it into consideration when making travel plans.
Funding for this project was provided thanks to the advocacy efforts of Congressman Jared Huffman, who helped secure a $13 million Airport Improvement Program grant through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) covering 90% of the project costs. The remaining 10% of the project costs will be funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act Grant funding which was previously provided by the FAA to the County of Humboldt.
The Humboldt County Department of Aviation conducted a competitive bid process for this project, and awarded a contract to the low bidder on the project, Mercer Fraser, a Humboldt-based company.
Work for this project includes two categories: upgrades to electrical/lighting infrastructure and pavement rehabilitation including, milling approximately two (2) inches off the surface of the airport’s primary runway and adding approximately six (6) inches of fresh asphalt for a new runway surface. This rehabilitation is expected to help the airport realize another 10-20 years of useful life out of the runway before another major rehabilitation project is needed. The work will be conducted in three phases with further details outlined below.
Phase I is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 5 and is currently expected to conclude on Aug. 12. This phase will focus on the initial electrical work including the removal of old lighting and electrical equipment and the installation of new lighting and electrical equipment. Work has been scheduled to minimize impacts to airline schedules with overnight closures of the main runway (Runway 14/32) from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly (outside of normal airline scheduled operations at ACV) throughout Phase I. ACV’s secondary runway will remain open from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night for medical flights, US Coast Guard operations, and other general aviation users. Passenger airlines will not be able to utilize ACV’s secondary runway (Runway 1/19) as it is not large enough to accommodate commercial aircraft for takeoffs and landings.
Phase II requires a full airport closure. Phase II is scheduled to begin at 12:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, and is expected to be completed by 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25. Airlines will not have scheduled arrivals or departures at ACV during this 12-day window. As mentioned above, work for this phase will include milling 2 inches of pavement off the old runway surface and adding 6 inches of pavement to the runway. In addition, new markings will be placed on the new pavement.
ACV will also be closed overnight from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. during this phase Monday, Aug. 28 through the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, and again beginning the night of Monday, Sept. 4 through the morning of Friday, Sept. 8. During this period, work will include milling and paving work on the taxiways connecting ACV’s runways. Regularly scheduled airline flights will continue to operate during this time.
Phase III will include electrical work to bring the newly installed in-pavement lighting and electrical systems flush with the newly paved runway surface. This work is scheduled for 75 nightly closures of ACV’s main runway from midnight to 6 a.m. The dates for these overnight closures are expected to be Monday, Sept. 11 through Friday, Dec. 15.
Regularly scheduled airline flights will still operate during this last phase of the project outside of the overnight closure timeframes. Additionally, ACV’s secondary runway will remain open during the overnight closures for medical flights, US Coast Guard operations, and other general aviation operations.
The Department of Aviation would like to thank the US Coast Guard-Sector Humboldt Bay, United Airlines, Avelo Airlines, and medical flight operators who partnered with the department to arrange this project’s schedule to minimize the impacts of this project for airport partners, operators, customers, and the community.
The Department of Aviation appreciates your patience while we work to make necessary improvements. This project will improve Humboldt County’s critical airfield infrastructure, providing many years of safe use for all airport partners moving forward. The Department of Aviation looks forward to completing a safe and successful project to improve the airport for the Humboldt County residents and visitors to enjoy in the future.
For more information and updates on the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport, please visit flyacv.com.