FARMINGTON – Officials at the Four Corners Regional Airport in northwestern New Mexico hope proposed upgrades will bring commercial airlines back – something the isolated regional has not had in nearly two years.
A five-year $23.2 million plan presented this week calls for improvements to runways, installation of an engineered material arresting system and taxiway relocation, The Farmington Daily Times reports.
The majority of those funds would come from the federal government, however, the state and city would each pay $725,000. The city would still have to apply for the federal grant funding under the proposal.
Airport Manager Mike Lewis told the Farmington City Council the upgrades could be used to attract commercial air service back to the airport.
“The airport is still a very vital part of our community,” he said.
No commercial airline has landed a plane at the airport since 2017.
Farmington Economic Development Director Warren Unsicker said the commercial air service will help Farmington as it works to accomplish goals like increasing tourism, attracting retirees and building an aerospace industry.
The city plans to begin a project this summer that could allow it to receive the C-II classification, which allows larger planes at the airport. Once it meets C-II standards, city officials plan to discuss an air service plan with SkyWest Airlines to bring commercial flights back to the airport. These talks could begin as early as next year.
SkyWest has already expressed interest in flying in and out of Farmington, officials said. They believe the airport could serve communities where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado come together. The area includes a large portion of the Navajo Nation.