May 20, 2019
BISHOP AIRPORT UPDATE
The best thing about the $7.85 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for pavement improvements at Bishop Airport, according to Inyo CAO Clint Quilter: it doesn’t require matching funds from Inyo County.
Design for the project will start immediately, Quilter said, and go out to bid this fall with completion slated for late 2020.
The County is working on the scope of the environmental review for work at the airport now, with the final document anticipated late next summer. An additional analysis will be required for commercial flights out of the facility, Quilter added.
The airport is still on track for commercial service by late 2020, he said.
Inyo County has been ticking items off its to-do list over the last two-plus years. A two-phased Passenger Traffic S
tudy painted a rosy picture for the airport. Allegiant Air expressed interesting in flying the 156-seat A319 into Bishop twice a week. Bishop’s Airport Certification Manual, backup generator, airfield lighting, airport layout plan and security fencing have all been completed.
Next on the list is the terminal and parking. Some elements of the total Bishop Airport project list aren’t necessary for commercial service, according to Quilter.
Quilter’s presentation to the Inyo Board in 2017 included a total, three-phase cost of $23.4 million with the FAA contributing $20 million.
For a while last year, it looked like Mammoth Lakes and Bishop were involved in a battle of airports with Mammoth slated for a major terminal re-do. With a stake in reliable air service, Mammoth Mountain representatives were also involved in the discussion. Since then, Mammoth’s Town Council has backed off on the terminal and taken a wait-and-see stance while Inyo County keeps on working.