Marin airport set for $2 million expansion

July 5, 2017



The runway at Marin County’s Gnoss Field shows steady signs of deterioration (photo courtesy of County of Marin)

Marin County’s airport in Novato is in line to get a nearly $2 million upgrade to its nearly 5-decade-old runway, but an FAA decision on whether the runway will get a short or a long extension to better-handle larger aircraft is still on approach.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors on June 20 approved plans to rehabilitate the 3,300-foot-by-75-foot runway and several taxiways at Gnoss Field Airport, airport code DVO, located three miles north of Novato.

“The improvements will provide a better experience for the airport’s users and will also open up new possibilities for future aviation services,” said Dan Jensen, airport manager. “This is a much-needed step in ensuring the longevity and functionality of Gnoss Field.”

Meanwhile, the FAA is considering input from a May 18 workshop on a proposed runway extension. A 1997 Airport Master Plan update called for a 1,100-foot extension, making the total length 4,400 feet, at an estimated cost at the time of $16 million, including a significant amount for environmental-impact review and mitigation, according to Julian Kaelon, a spokesman for the county Department of Public Works. A 4,400-foot runway was part of the environmental impact statement the FAA released on the project in 2014.

The FAA updated the document in May 2016, recommending only a 300-foot extension, to 3,600 feet, based on a study that showed fewer existing and forecast takeoffs and landings from larger aircraft.

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