SY Airport updates plane parking area
Ben Brouillet refuelled his plane recently at the Santa Ynez Airport. The airport apron was completely replaced recently.

A new look for airport's apron area

By Shelly Escalante-Cone/Managing Editor

Work has been completed on the Santa Ynez Airport's apron rehabilitation project.

The work was divided into two phases totaling 335,150 square feet. The project cost $1,096,636 and was covered by Federal Aviation Administration airport improvement grants.

"We're happy. After all the paperwork we've been doing it's nice to finally see the fruits of our labor," said Airport Manager Kim Joos.

Joos said the apron was originally built in three stages.

"One stage never took into account the grades of the others," she said.

The results were low areas where water would set and eventually caused deterioration that required total reconstruction, instead of just an overlay.

"It's in use, our permanent planes are back in their spaces," Joos said.

The airport just received another FAA grant for an All Weather Oberservation System.The AWOS works by collecting and verifying weather data from an array of sensors. The data is processed and disseminated. Pilots can then receive current weather information 24 hours a day.The AWOS was covered by a grant of $129,878, Joos said.

Joos said the airport is currently working on obtaining grants for another project — reconstructing the apron maintenance hangar and crack seal and slurry for the runway and taxi way.

Joos said the airport is in a good position to receive grants for its maintenance projects.

"I hear the FAA has money, but there aren't many airports solvent enough to meet the match. We are," she said.

The FAA has raised the amount of money it will grant to 95 percent leaving the airport and state to divide the rest.

The airport is working on its capital improvement plan and identifying other areas that need attention.

Santa Ynez ValleyAirport Authority Chairman Willy Chamberlin said the airport has benefitted from local leadership.

"The airport has improved in both operations and appearance in the last 11 years since the authority took over," he said.

The airport is owned by the county, which contracts with the authority for management.

Joos credits increased communication and cooperation for the airport's current healthy state.

Managing Editor Shelly Escalante-Cone can be reached at 688-5522, ext. 3 or by e-mail at


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