Inyokern Airport – Expansion

Expansion, new officers on the horizon at Inyokern Airport
Friday, January 11, 2008
BY RUTH JUSTIS
The Inyokern (CA) Daily Independent

Exciting things are happening at the Indian Wells Valley Airport. The office building has been remodeled and refinished, with new flooring, paint, stucco, and the addition of a break room ? not quite complete. ?It?s a pleasure to work here,? said Administrative Assistant Sue Turner. ?People drop by who haven?t been here in years and are amazed at the changes.? Manager Scott Seymour said they hope to break ground in the fall for Airport Improvement Plan 23, a remodeled terminal, which will increase the size of the building from 3,400 square feet to 10,000 square feet. The new terminal will feature additional restroom facilities in the secure area, a luggage carousel in the indoor baggage claim area, two car rental offices, and a vending machine area (labeled gift shop on the plans). The $2 million project is expected to take 10 months to a year to complete.

AIP 23 will also finish runway rehabilitation (filling cracks and sealing) on the main runway, wiring and lights on runways 10/28 and 220, and a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) on runway 15. Seymour also hopes to acquire a sweeper truck for the airport.

Work on the main ramp is 90 percent complete under the current project, AIP 22. The electrical work is 40 percent complete, Seymour said.

?We had the RAF pilots and planes here during November and December and sold them $100,000 in jet fuel. They are scheduled to return the end of May for another 40 days,? Seymour said.

The RAF pilots sent a gift of a lithograph of one of their planes flying over Afghanistan to Seymour.

Seymour also recently received a shadow box with an American flag from Lt. Brian Cepaitis, Ridgecrest resident currently serving in Afghanistan, and the crew of a Prowler. The flag was carried in the plane on May 29, 2007, during Shock 77, ?supplying electronic attack and support to ground forces engaged in direct combat as part of the global war on terrorism.?

Sky West reported 894 enplanements during November and 835 in December. Passenger numbers typically drop during the holidays, when the base personnel take vacation days.

November saw five days of filming at the airport ? a Volvo commercial for Swedish audiences. Harley Davidson filmed two days in December and Chrysler had a one-day still photo shoot in January. Revenues from filming stand at $34,000 for the current fiscal year.

?Professional Designer/Photographer Peter Arnell did the Chrysler shoot. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him. He?s amazing and probably about the most famous person ever to work at Inyokern Airport,? Seymour said.

Arnell has written 18 books on architecture and three on photography. He and his company, The Arnell Group, are responsible for designs which include the new Kmart logo, The Home Depot, Tommy Hilfiger, Hanes, Chanel, Anne Klein, and DKNY clothing.

Airport Counsel Scott Nave reported a change in the Brown Act, which mandates that meeting agendas state where documents are located, for public viewing prior to meetings.

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