Idaho board tours Aeronautics facility at airport

The Idaho Transportation Board prepared for its last business (Jan. 19, 20) meeting by making a side trip to the Division of Aeronautics facilities located at the Boise Municipal Airport and an informal visit with the five-member Aeronautics Advisory Board.

Every year, the Transportation Board is briefed on aviation activities throughout the state. The tour of Aeronautics and meeting with the advisory group provided valuable background information on the state’s aeronautics system.

While there, board members received information on the following:

  • The process to relocate the Hailey airport is still under way. A refined short list of alternative sites has been developed.
  • Overall, aviation activity increased slightly in 2010 from the previous year, with passenger enplanements at the commercial airports up 1 percent.
  • The Idaho Airport System Plan, completed last year, received an award from the Idaho Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.
  • The division’s year-to-date revenues are 12 percent ahead of projections, while the operating expenditures are 58 percent less than allotted because of strict cash management.
  • The number of state airports increased to 31 with the addition of the Reed Ranch Airstrip.
  • Fifteen state airports were "adopted" and 454 man-hours of volunteer labor were reported in 2010.
  • There were 38 airplane incidents and eight fatalities in 2010. The 10-year average is 38.2 incidents and 9.9 fatalities.

Other board discussion

Project advances to FY11 Highway Development Program
ITD staff members determined that $67.4 million is available for additional projects in FY11. The funds are from four sources: projects previously advanced to FY10; programmed GARVEE debt service which is not needed in FY11; prior year state construction carryover that can be released for new projects; and unanticipated federal indirect cost recovery because of economic stimulus expenditures.

The board approved the list of recommended projects for funding. The list emphasizes mobility, economic growth and safety by forwarding existing projects that are already in the Highway Development Program. The projects also preserve and restore pavement conditions, improve safety and likely could be advertised in time to be under construction this fiscal year.

Early Development (ED) program policy
The board approved a new policy at its meeting on Jan. 20 – B-11-08 – Early Development (ED) Program. The policy is a result of a new process to get projects ready for funding. It basically is years six and seven of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The intent is to move these projects into a construction year as funding becomes available.

Projects placed in the ED Program are to be in line with the department’s investment strategies. The policy outlines a number of guidelines.

Development costs in the program shall not exceed $300,000 per District per year. The total estimated unfunded construction costs of all projects in the program shall be limited to $120 million at any time, with each district limited to no more than $20 million in estimated construction costs.

Projects funded in the ED program shall be clearly depicted as unfunded for construction. The ED Program shall be updated and approved by the board annually. Before a district begins development on any project within the program, the district will prepare a financial/scope/schedule document for board approval, identifying that the proposed project fits within the funding constraints. The projects must have active delivery and cost schedules, which will be presented to the board annually for approval.

Published 2-11-2011