The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today approved a $214,596 contract with a San Diego-based engineering firm to assess what, if any, impact might result from the development of a buffer zone at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal.
The county Economic Development Agency selected C&S Engineers to conduct the environmental impact study on 122 acres of county-owned property on the southern end of the airport.
The county wants to use a 62-acre space abutting Avenue 60 for a runway overrun, or “protection zone,” according to Economic Development Agency spokesman Tom Freeman.
Before any change can be made, state law requires that an environmental impact report be completed.
According to Freeman, plans for a third runway at the airfield may be scrubbed to move forward with developing the overrun.
The airport has undergone major upgrades over the last three years, including resurfacing of its apron, revamped runways and new hangars. A $42 million sheriff’s patrol and aviation complex was also constructed there.
According to Freeman, the changes have led to more business and greater demand for the airport’s resources.