The outside of the Tooele Valley Airport on Jan. 30, 2015. The Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports, which operates the ability, is in search of so as to add new water and sewage utilities to the essential small airport. (Natalie Crofts, KSL.com)

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GRANTSVILLE — The Tooele Valley Airport presently serves as an essential facility in increasing the forms of aviation companies accessible within the Wasatch Entrance area and in Utah’s wildland firefighting efforts; nonetheless, the small facility itself does not have water or sewage connections.

That is largely as a result of it was basically out in the course of nowhere when Salt Lake Metropolis acquired the final aviation airport in 1993. The small airfield is positioned between Stansbury Park and Grantsville in Tooele County; on the time, neither of these cities may supply utilities to the airport, says Brady Fredrickson, the planning director for the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports.

“The county hadn’t developed the system that was near the airport,” he stated in an interview with KSL.com Friday. “For years and years, it was an extended distance to get any water or sewer to this facility.”

That would quickly change because the Tooele Valley inhabitants grows. The county’s development in recent times has resulted in close by cities increasing nearer and nearer to the airport, which is closing the earlier service hole that existed for many years.

As this occurs, the division of airports is in search of to amend its present finances so as to add $900,000 so it will possibly design new sewer and water utility connections utilizing Grantsville utilities. The request is among the 4 new finances amendments that the division is in search of, which additionally contains the expedition of a $683 million 16-gate enlargement on the Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport.

The price of the Tooele Valley Airport undertaking — and the three others — are coated by “touchdown charges, terminal leases, and different charges paid by the airways,” in line with a public doc included within the finances modification request. The division will not be in search of any funding from town’s normal fund.

This map shows where planned water and sewage lines would go in relation to the Tooele Valley Airport.
This map reveals the place deliberate water and sewage traces would go in relation to the Tooele Valley Airport. (Picture: Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports)

“Water and sewer (are) not a really attractive factor to speak about, however one thing that is actually needed,” stated Shane Andreasen, the director of administration and business companies for the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports, in a presentation with the Salt Lake Metropolis Council on Tuesday.

Why the Tooele airport issues

The division of airports operates the Tooele Valley Airport to assist cowl all kinds of aviation companies exterior of the flagship Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport. The airfield helps business-related flying and regulation enforcement/hearth/rescue flying companies, such because the Bureau of Land Administration’s wildfire operations. That is on high of flight coaching and leisure flying, reminiscent of skydiving.

The division additionally operates the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan as this kind of extension, too. Fredrickson stated these three airports work in concord with each other. The small airports, particularly, scale back the demand for smaller planes taking off and touchdown at Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport, which opens up airspace and permits the principle airport to increase business airline service.

“We discuss with (the Tooele airport) as a diamond within the tough as a result of it’s a very important airport within the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports system,” Fredrickson stated. “Every part we do right here to reinforce and get extra of that leisure plane and flight coaching to maneuver out to right here, or need to relocate out to Tooele, it takes that plane out of the Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide airspace — and that is sort of a significant factor for us.”


“It has numerous potential to increase and serve the group.

–Brady Fredrickson, the planning director for the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports


Shifting firefighting, leisure and academic flight companies out of the principle airport additionally makes it simpler for smaller plane to take off and land as a result of pilots haven’t got to attend for “a financial institution” of bigger plane to depart the airspace, he added.

Whereas it does not have water or sewage, the Tooele Valley Airport is among the few airports of its dimension that has an instrument touchdown system, in line with Invoice Wyatt, govt director of the Salt Lake Metropolis Division of Airports. This service provides small plane pilots a spot to land in unhealthy climate, and it permits the small airfield to be a serious participant in attacking Utah wildfires.

Future development

The finances modification request doc states that the division of airports lately reached a 20-year settlement with the BLM so it will possibly stay a launching level for federal firefighting plane. The airport shall be residence to the bureau’s Single Engine Airtanker Operations, or SEATs, fleet, in line with Andreasen.

“They’re going to be placing out fires for a very long time in our area, and they will be spending over $7 million out on that facility in Tooele,” he stated

Water and sewage utilities could make means for brand new services for firefighting pilots. It additionally permits for future development in flight coaching companies and leisure flying. For instance, Skydive Utah, a preferred skydiving firm that makes use of the airport, has expressed curiosity in increasing operations sooner or later, in line with Fredrickson.

As he factors out, the proper utilities — like water and sewage — are wanted to increase enterprise. The general public doc notes that the division of airports is working with town’s public utility division, in addition to town of Grantsville and different Tooele County entities on the design. Fredrickson estimates it should price one other $9 million so as to add the services as soon as the design is prepared within the close to future.

However as soon as full, airport officers consider the diamond that’s the Tooele Valley Airport has the power to lastly glisten.

“It has numerous potential to increase and serve the group,” Fredrickson stated. “I believe it’ll be a very good financial driver for Tooele County if we develop it proper.”

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers normal information, outdoor, historical past and sports activities for KSL.com. He beforehand labored for the Deseret Information. He’s a Utah transplant by the best way of Rochester, New York.

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