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City looks to expand airport runway
Turlock airport
A runway widening project at the Turlock Municipal Airport will be under consideration by the Turlock City Council on Tuesday. - photo by Journal file photo

A runway widening project at the Turlock Municipal Airport will be under consideration by the Turlock City Council on Tuesday, the first council meeting of 2016.

The runway at the City-owned airport, which is located approximately 9 miles east of the city along East Avenue at Newport Road, does not currently meet the Federal Aviation Administration's design standards of 60 feet in width, falling short by 10 feet.

The City Council will consider the submission of an application for General Aviation entitlement funds to help pay for needed improvements to begin the widening project, which include grading and drainage to the runway safety area, relocation of the wind indicator and various infrastructure improvements.

The total project is expected to cost $666,667. The federal grant requested would be $600,000, and the City would be required to contribute 10 percent in matching funds ($66,667).

The Turlock Municipal Airport has been in operation since the 1940s. From 1942 to 1945 it was an Army Air Training Base in conjunction with the Castle Air Force Base where the student pilots were housed. In July 1947, the airport property was deeded to the City of Turlock.

No commercial airlines fly out of the Turlock airport, which is mainly used by private pilots and air ambulance service companies.

The airport is also the site of the popular Young Eagles event each year, providing free flights to children between the ages of 7 and 17. The Turlock Regional Aviation Association, which operates the airport, in conjunction with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department have sponsored three events, which are usually in the fall, and to date have provided the experience of flight to over 500 children from the surrounding area.

Also on Tuesday, the Council is expected to:

Make a number of appointments, from Vice Mayor to Parks, Arts and Recreation Commissioners and Turlock representatives to The Alliance, Stanislaus Council of Governments, Turlock Mosquito Abatement District and the Turlock Public Library Partnership.Consider a final reading on the Turlock Municipal Code Amendments prohibiting cultivation of cannabis for all purposes and banning business licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.