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Friday, November 04, 2011
Paul Wolf, WSDOT-operated airport manager, 360-651-6313
SNAKE RIVER – Outdoor enthusiasts are getting some air-support that will help them reach their recreation hotspots this winter and next spring.
Washington State Department of Transportation announced earlier this week that the Lower Monumental, Lower Granite and Little Goose airports along the Snake River in Walla Walla, Whitman and Spokane counties, will remain open year-round.
In past years, these airports have typically closed between October and June. This changed after WSDOT and the United States Army Corps of Engineers weighed a number of factors, including expressed interest from pilots and recreational organizations.
“Keeping these state-operated airports open all year will help support the local economies and allow pilots much greater access to popular winter fishing and hunting activities along the Snake River corridor,” said Paul Wolf, WSDOT airport manager, adding that WSDOT leases the airports from the ACOE. “We were able to keep them open because of flexibility in our lease agreements and the fact that the airports typically don’t see a lot of snow in the winter.”
Nine of the 17 WSDOT-operated airports are currently closed for the winter due to typical snow accumulations on airport runways, lease agreements and state law requirements. And while the Lower Monumental, Lower Granite and Little Goose airports are not scheduled to close, pilots are reminded to plan ahead by reviewing the latest Notices to Airmen and checking WSDOT’s state-operated airports webpage for updated information about airport closures.
“It’s important to note that even though these airports are scheduled to remain open throughout the year, adverse weather can change this very quickly,” Wolf said. “We won’t be conducting snow removal at the Snake River airports, and they will be closed if snow accumulates on the runways.”
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