Airport plan examined |

Airport plan examined

Robert Stern

The city of South Lake Tahoe is working on a plan to revitalize the airport, which has come under significant community scrutiny throughout recent years.

The Lake Tahoe Airport Commission has sent out a request for a proposal for a strategic plan. Issues facing the airport include identifying additional funding sources, creating a transportation hub, securing commercial air service and infrastructure improvements.

“This gives us an action plan to move the airport forward and that is our primary goal, to show the airport is part of the community and a good neighbor to the community and all parties can benefit from an efficiently run airport,” said newly hired airport/transit manager Mike Dikun.

The airport costs the city about $500,000, a year and has had dubious success with commercial carriers during the last decade. But proponents of the airport are looking at possible funding partnerships with Douglas and El Dorado counties, which both reap financial rewards from the airport’s operation, said City Manager David Childs.

After an airport workshop held last April, which included City Council, city staff and airport commissioners, the commission was asked to develop a three- to five-year strategic plan. The request for proposal is the first step in this process, Dikun said.

Dikun said the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is refining its environmental thresholds, and he hopes to be a part of that.

“I would like to work with (the TRPA) on that to show the airport could be a help to (the environment) instead of a hindrance,” Dikun said. “When we redefine the public transit system, then the airport could be a definite benefit to the community, because we could bring people here and not have them drive.”

Airport Commissioner Carl Ribaudo, who helped prepare the RFP, said he is open to all ideas.

The Airport Commission is expecting responses to the RFP on Aug. 20 and hopes to have a strategic plan by Dec. 7.

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