Bid Process Nearing For Fuel System Modernization

 Arens Field is getting closer to the bid process for work to its fuel aviation system.

Talks have been ongoing for about a year to remedy the underground fuel tanks and modernize the system, itself. The Pulaski County Commissioners were updated on work planned for the site.

Board of Aviation Commissioners Agent Mark Shillington says this qualifies as a revenue generating project.

“Congress under what’s called the Non-primary Entitlement Act, says if you meet certain conditions, however, one of them being your air site needs are met, meaning there’s nothing to do with the runway and taxiways… then you’re allowed to do revenue generating projects,” says Shillington.

Pulaski County is almost ready to let bids to remove the two underground tanks and construct the new fuel system. The underground tanks are about 50-years-old, one of which is inoperable.

In order to help pay for the work, a grant is being sought by through the Federal Aviation Administration. Applications for the grant funds are due by July 3rd of this year.

Should the grant funds be approved for Pulaski County, two five-thousand gallon above ground tanks would be installed: one for aviation gasoline, the other for jet fuel.

Shillington says contracts and materials could then proceed.

“There’s a process by which the contracts will put together their plans and material list which I will review and approve and then they will order the materials and that will take several months,” says Shillington.

No leaks are expected from the underground tanks, but soil testing will be conducted to ensure a lack of contamination.

Pulaski County should know whether grant funds are approved by September of this year. Work would likely not be completed until June of 2016.