Dickinson evacuees evacuated from Galveston

Evacuees from flooding in Dickinson board a Texas Air National Guard C-130 bound for North Texas at Scholes International Airport in Galveston on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.

GALVESTON

With major repairs planned at Galveston’s municipal airport, officials are hoping the state’s transportation agency will agree with a plan to maintain the width of the airport runways.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter

@johnwferguson.

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(8) comments

Gary Scoggin

Questions, I have questions.

How much money are we talking about and how often is there a need for the capacity for bigger jets? What are the pros and cons of having to use Ellington?

Is this a true need or just a vanity project?

Don Schlessinger

Although having wide runways does make it possible for larger airliners to use Scholes they don't regularly use it, and probably never will. C-130 and probably C-17 aircraft should be able to use 35 foot wide runways in situations like hurricanes and our big freeze, they are designed land on rough unimproved runways. A 35 foot wide runway should not be a problem for them. There is a limit to where they land but I can't see Sholes being a problem in emergency response situations. Thirty five foot wide runways will be a problem for large airliners but smaller airliners will be able to use ours without any problem, and large corporate aircraft will also be able to use them. Spending our tax dollars to maintain wide runways for larger aircraft is not a good way to use our money.

Jack Reeves

As a former pilot, I would hate to see Galveston lose the possibility of ever attracting more commercial traffic. Right now, it may not be necessary to have or maintain larger, high capacity ramps, taxiways or runways but, as Galveston continues to grow, the possibilities are endless. I can remember when folks scoffed at the idea of Galveston's wharves ever becoming a destination for those who enjoy cruising.

Mike Shahan

According to a GAO report comparing the performance capabilities of the C-5 and C-17 cargo aircraft, the minimum runway width needed for a C-17 is 90,' and the minimum taxiway width is 50'. For a C-17 to perform a typical 180-degree turn requires a 116' width. A C-130 requires a minimum taxiway width of 50' with a turning radius of 70'.

Reducing the existing taxiway widths to 35' will eliminate any chance of the military flying any relief efforts into the Scholes airport, which was done during Ike, Harvey, and the ice storm this past winter. It also eliminates the chance of future commercial flights into the airport.

To reduce the width of the taxiways and runway, moving the lights to their new location and then removing the unused pavement is more costly than making repairs to the existing pavement. Our TxDOT Aviation and FAA grants cover ninety percent of pavement maintenance costs at the airport. This money comes from the Aviation Trust Fund, which is funded by taxes on transportation of persons and property by air and aviation fuel for commercial use, not the City of Galveston's general fund.

Mike Shahan

Airport Director

Don Schlessinger

Thanks Mike, I stand corrected, my info was incomplete. I do agree that maintaining our runways is less expensive than making them fit the FAA's idea of reducing runway width, actually it's hard to believe the Feds would come up with that idea. I do feel like the thought of scheduled airline service with large aircraft is more of a dream than reality with other than regional sized aircraft. We have never had the load factors that support long term scheduled service.

Mike Shahan

Don, I agree that regional-sized aircraft are more likely than the larger aircraft. In the past few months, we have received interest from a regional airline, and multiple inquiries from cruise-related companies and customers wanting to be able to fly to Galveston. It may not happen, but reducing pavement size will ensure that it will not happen. Thanks for the feedback.

Don Schlessinger

Have to say it would be great to see a reginal serving KGLS, and the fact that cruise related companies are considering flying out of Sholes is encouraging. No doubt it would be a boon for the city.

Joel Martin

Thanks Mike for the information.

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