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Redmond Airport closing for three weeks in May 2016


The pavement on the runway at Redmond Municipal Airport needs some work. Runway maintenance is nothing out of the usual, but in this case, it’s shutting down the whole airport May 2-23, 2016.

“There’s no safety issue with the runway,” Jeff Tripp, executive director at RDM, said Wednesday. “It’s simply a routine preservation project, and in this case it just requires a complete rebuild, instead of an overlay or a crack seal coat.”

The work is Phase 2 of a larger maintenance project. The section of runway that will be repaired is relatively small, but the issue is how the two runways intersect.

“If the runways were parallel, that would not impact us,” Tripp said.

Crews will be working 24/7 to pack 90 days of work into 21. But even then, Central Oregon will be without a commercial airport for three weeks.

“It’s certainly inconvenient,” said Brian Love, who travels through Roberts Field six times a year.

Officials put together a task force on Tuesday that includes airport and city officials, as well as other agencies such as the Central Oregon Visitors Association.

“Well, the airport being shut down for three weeks is a serious impact for the region,” said Alana Hughson, CEO of COVA. “We know that the best way to manage that kind of shutdown is to plan carefully and communicate thoroughly.”

Communication is certainly appreciated by those traveling through the airport regularly.

“As long as I know about it ahead of time, I can at least plan around it and maybe look at alternatives, if I have to travel during that time,” Love said.

Even with all the planning, the airport still faces lost revenue.

“We’re looking at roughly around a quarter-million dollars for the three-week period,” . We’re trying to factor in the airlines, rental cars, leases, restaurants, things like that,” Tripp said.

Although there is never a good time for RDM to shut down, officials think the May time frame will have the least impact on the region.

“The temperature needs to be right for the asphalt and all that,” said Redmond Mayor George Endicott. “But then it also needs to be when we don’t have a huge impact on the economy in Central Oregon.”

The dates will overlap with the 2016 U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle, but Hughson said most people who come to Central Oregon for the PPP do so by car rather than by plane.

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