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State Officials Tour Runway Lighting Project and Safety Area

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01 Aug 2023

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(North Bend, OR) – Replacing aged runway and taxiway lighting at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport has been checked off the list of completed projects. Officials from the Oregon Department of Aviation recently closed out a Critical Oregon Airport Relief (COAR) grant and toured the completed project with State Representatives Boomer Wright and Court Boice. The tour looked at the updated lighting along the runways, taxiways, and in air navigation aids.

Nearly 600 lights, 10 miles of wiring, three airport wind socks were replaced, and new electrical panels were installed. Runway 4/22 was renumbered and repainted to 5/23 because of magnetic variation. The project replaced infrastructure above and underground. Before the upgrades, airport maintenance crews would sometimes search nationally to find replacement parts. Some fixtures were over 70 years old and some were installed during World War II. The new lighting system will be more reliable and easier to maintain.

Six men standing on an airport tarmac with a jet and bridge in the background.
Airport and State Officials During Runway Tour

The $4.2 million project was funded by the Oregon Department of Aviation and the district. Now that the work is completed the lighting system should serve the airport and its customers for many years.

The group also looked at the expansion of a Runway Safety Area (RSA). The multi-million-dollar project has already undergone an environmental assessment and is now in the design phase. Funding for the project will come from the Department of Aviation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, and the airport district. The runway safety area is located at the end of Runway 5/23 and is a multi-million-dollar project required by the FAA.

The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport is owned by the Coos County Airport District and is one of five commercial airports in the state. It is critical to the state’s aviation plan that links to the Oregon Transportation Plan, a long-range vision and policy foundation to guide transportation system development and investment.

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