Airport reverses fuel fee increase, runway rehabilitation underway

Juneau Airport tower

The airport is facing higher costs of deicer, fuel, supplies and security. (Photo by Rocky B/Flickr Creative Commons)

Fuel fees for long term tenants at the Juneau Airport will stay the same.

Rate and fee increases at the Airport were approved by the CBJ Assembly earlier this month. But after discussions with airport tenants and users, the airport board decided Wednesday night to reverse some of the increases.

Airport tenants include local helicopter companies and small commuter airlines.

Airport manager Patty deLaBruere says the board was able to maintain current fuel fees for non-transient users, “We did still have some Airport Fund Balance that we could use to help offset some of the expenses without raising all the rates.”

Reversing the fuel fee increase for non-transient users will mean taking $135,000 from the Airport Fund Balance.

Rate increases are still set for other areas like landing fees for larger aircrafts, land lease rates, and terminal lease rents. A significant increase to aircraft parking fees, which will double for some users, will be phased in over two years.

“It is a jump and one of the things we looked at was there’s been a lot of improvements. There’s a lot of maintenance that goes on down there and it’s been a number of years since these rates were raised,” says deLaBruere.

Money generated from the fee hikes will go toward airport budget increases, including new security personnel from the Juneau Police Department, an additional cost of $300,000.

Also discussed at Wednesday night’s airport board meeting was runway rehabilitation. According to deLaBruere the runway surface is deteriorating. SECON started temporary patching of cracks and potholes Wednesday night.

DeLaBruere calls the temporary patches a band-aide until the entire runway pavement is redone, something the FAA says is necessary.

“We are currently working with the FAA on some funding for the project to try to get this done next summer. It’s a very aggressive design and plan and funding but it’s got to be done, and it really truly is a safety measure.”

Current runway work should take about a week, weather depending, and is being done after-hours between 10:30 pm and 6 am.