Port of Whitman Business Air Center (POWBAC), Pavement Rehabilitation & NAVAIDs

Colfax, WA


Century West designed a pavement rehabilitation and NAVAID project at the Port of Whitman Business Air Center (POWBAC). The pavement rehabilitation focused on crack sealing and slurry sealing on all Airport pavements. The NAVAID component of the work included installing precision approach path indicators (PAPIs) for each runway end and replacing the Airport’s aging beacon.

During the design phase, the Century West team performed an in-depth PAPI siting and beacon siting analysis. The beacon was to be relocated from its current hangar-mounted location to the top of a hill south of the Airport on Port-owned property. Moving the beacon to this location would make maintenance safer and allow the beacon to be seen from further distances. Due to the close-in terrain of the rolling hills of the Palouse, it was challenging to adequately site the PAPIs for each runway end. The team analyzed different locations; however, the team determined that installing PAPIs would not be practical for the Airport. As a result, the Port removed the PAPI work from the project.

During the 90% design phase, the FAA indicated insufficient funding to construct the pavement maintenance work and new beacon. The Port decided to proceed with the pavement maintenance work and construct the beacon the following year. The pavement maintenance work was constructed in September 2022, and the final pavement marking application was completed in May 2023. Due to the long lead time for procurement of the Beacon pole, it is anticipated that the new beacon will be installed by summer 2024.

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