Columbia Airport (O22) Update

Current Issues and Activities as of March 2005.
Columbia airport is governed by Tuolumne County Airports, (as is Pine Mountain Lake Airport). Columbia Airport is fortunate in that we have great support from our County Board of Supervisors. The fact that the CDF Air Attack Base is located at Columbia is also a big plus for the Airport. The Community understands the need and fantastic role the Air Attack Base plays in protecting our foothill and mountain community from wild land and forest fires. I believe the current Airport Director, (Jim Thomas) has been doing an excellent job here at Columbia Airport the past two years. He has an excellent relationship with both the pilots and the local government. I also feel he does a great job working with the community around the Airport on noise and other issues and believe he projects a positive image of our airport. He is both friendly and easy to talk to.

The following is the current list of issues and activities here at Columbia:
1. Unicom Frequency Change: Columbia Airport changed its Unicom Frequency to 122.975 on February 9th, 2005. An area wide NOTAM was issued and will be in effect for three months. Bald Eagle Aviation and many local pilots are monitoring both the old and new frequencies and notifying pilots using the old frequency. We also have a recorded announcement that is being broadcasted on the AWOS.

2. Hangar Development:
a. Columbia has been trying to develop new hangars for many years. There are two locations identified for new hangars. The latest fire code requires a water flow of 1500 GPM and a hydrant within 300 feet of all parts of the building. An alternate is to install fire sprinklers.
b. The south location will require an extension of an existing water line located 1500 feet away. The other location is on the south side of the grass runway and requires the relocation of an UG water line and the extension of taxiway ?C?.
c. Columbia Airport has recently issued a design contract for the design of the taxiway C extension and the design of a perimeter access road around the south end of Runway 17-35.
d. The application for the design grant for the water line relocation and extension was sent out last week.
e. I feel our Airport Director has a solid plan for developing new hangars and believe it is one of his highest priorities.

3. Grass Runway 29: The grass runway was redone last year and is filling in really well and is ready for the Fly-In season.

4. Airport Reserved Space Permit:
A revised Airport Reserved Space Permit has just been sent to the Board of Supervisors for approval. The Airport Director and the Airports Committee have been working together on the revised permit for over a year. The Reserved Space Permit is for the rental of hangars and tie downs. The revised permit brings outdated rules and regulations up to date and provides for a more realistic use of the hangars. The Airports Department has also been updating the existing county owned hangars with a Fire Alarm System.

Alan Wallace
Chairman Tuolumne County Airports Advisory Committee
AOPA ASN Volunteer (O22)
CPA Airport Representative (O22)