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Pinal County Starts Two-Year Airpark Master Planning Process

By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Photo Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

Photo Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

Changing lease language means changing opportunities for Pinal Airpark near Marana. A two-year effort to renegotiate the lease opens the facility to greater economic development opportunities.

The airport planning process now means that the county can chase federal grants for the airport and upgrades to the runways and ground facilities at the Airpark. The two year planning program kicked off after the new lease agreement was signed in late July. The airport master plan will identify future needs and uses for the airport and is a key component needed to apply for airport development grants.

The new lease agreement resolved a number of issues from the old lease that limited public access to the Airpark. The outdated language put the county in the position of being out of compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations and hampered sublease and development potential.

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors approved the new lease, and is now looking forward to exploiting air cargo and transshipment opportunities with the facility’s proximity to interstates 8, 10 and 19.

The new lease resolves those discrepancies, and the FAA has reported the facility is now in compliance with the agency’s regulations. FAA compliance also makes the facility eligible for federal grant funding that can be used for runway upgrades, on-airport safety and technology improvements and more.