Airport receives grant for new runway lights

Construction expected to begin later this fall

KING CITY — Mesa Del Rey Airport in King City has received a $454,050 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for new runway lights.

“The City is very excited to receive approval for this grant, which will represent a tremendous investment in the Mesa Del Rey Airport,” said City Manager Steve Adams. “It is part of an overall City effort to make improvements at the airport to better manage this valuable community asset.”

As announced by Congressman Jimmy Panetta on Aug. 9, the funds will be used to rehabilitate the lighting system along the edge of Runway 11/29 to ensure safe airfield operations in low visibility conditions.

“This investment allows us to provide updated lighting technology for the over 7,500 flights that operate through Mesa Del Rey Airport each year,” Panetta said. “From its original use by the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II to its current pilot training programs, this airport has continued to serve as a critical resource to King City and other communities in the Salinas Valley.”

An estimated 7,862 flights operate through Mesa Del Rey Airport each year, with an average 151 aircraft operations per week.

According to Adams, the federal grant will not only improve reliability of the lighting system, but also help make the airport more user-friendly for pilots and reduce maintenance costs. A new state-of-the-art structure to house the equipment related to the lighting system will also be included.

Construction is expected to begin in late fall.

“The City appreciates the support of the FAA and State in funding this project,” Adams said.

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