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Casper airport construction still on schedule despite COVID-19

The sign at Casper-Natrona County International Airport's entrance in Natrona County, Wyo.
The sign at Casper-Natrona County International Airport's entrance in Natrona County, Wyo.(KCWY)
Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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COVID-19 isn’t delaying construction at Casper-Natrona County International Airport.

Airport Director Glenn Januska said current and upcoming projects should go on as scheduled.

“Even with the coronavirus, we have probably our busiest construction year in terms of the projects and what we’re doing and the scope of the projects,” he said.

Projects include reconstructing the airport’s gate holding area, Airport Rescue Firefighting training facility, the airport’s apron and others.

Since these projects have been in the works for many months, if not more than a year, the airport’s already secured most, if not all, of the necessary funding.

“Our projects that we are looking at, especially the construction projects, have some specific funding mechanisms for those and that’s not funding that comes out of our operations,” Januska said. “So we’re not looking at this going ‘Hey, we think we’re going to have less operating funds, we think we don’t have money for the capital.’”

He said though the virus has temporarily slowed passenger traffic, it doesn’t fundamentally change the need for these projects.

“Pavement still is going to deteriorate, you want to do crack seal and seal coat. We need to do snow removal operations, same need for those. You know, the gate holding area, we continue to anticipate that we’re going to have more passengers once we get through this process,” Januska said.

The airport is also buying a new Airport Rescue Firefighting vehicle and snow remover.

He said some projects have already gone out to contractors for bid. Others, like the gate holding area reconstruction, will go out for bid within the coming months.

He also said the $1,544,449 grant the airport received from the FAA through the CARES Act will not help pay for these projects. It will cover operating expenses making up for losses created by low passenger volume due to COVID-19.

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