EAST WENATCHEE — Pangborn Memorial Airport will close to all fixed-wing aircraft — including Alaska Airlines flights — for a week in July so crews can put the finishing touches on the $30 million project to extend the runway.

The closure will begin at 6:30 p.m. July 17 and end at 7 a.m. July 25, Craig Larsen, spokesman for the Port of Chelan County, said Friday.

The airport will remain open to helicopters — a big plus, Larsen said, as the closure coincides with wildfire season when helicopters are often in the area fighting fires.

Project planners say the most efficient way to do the planned work is to close the runway, Larsen said. That work includes painting the markings, installing high-intensity lighting and applying a seal coat to the runway.

When the airport reopens, the runway should be ready to use, Larsen said, although landscaping and other minor projects will continue until October, when all of the project should be finished, he said.

“It’s exciting,” Larsen said. “We’ve been talking about it for 10, 12 years. To be in the home stretch is great news. The project is going well and is on budget.”

The project adds 1,300 feet to Pangborn’s 5,700-foot runway. That required pushing a portion of Grant Road to the north and reconfiguring access to nearby Union Avenue.

Construction took a winter break, but is scheduled to begin in March.

A longer runway will make Pangborn usable by larger aircraft. The extra space will also be handy for Alaska Airlines’ 76-seat Bombardier Q400, which needs a little more take-off room on very hot or very cold days when fully loaded.

Alaska is the only commercial airline with regularly scheduled flights out of Pangborn. It flies three times daily to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

 

Christine Pratt: 665-1173