The Pueblo of Zuni recently dedicated their new airport located about 5 miles west of Zuni, NM.
The project, which replaced the old airport, took fifteen years to complete. “After 15 years of planning, environmental work, data recovery, and several design iterations with the FAA, the construction began in 2014,” said Jane Lucero, Airport Development Administrator for the New Mexico Aviation Division. “It was completed in two phases, the first being the earthwork and the second being the paving.”
Jim Bildilli, a contract airport inspector working for GCR, Inc., was on hand for the festivities and provided the photos that accompany this article. “The day was rainy and not very conducive to holding a dedication, but it proceeded as planned,” said Bildilli. “It was probably the most unique dedication of a new airport that I’ve ever attended… and I’ve been to quite a few.”
The Zuni people have lived in the American Southwest for thousands of years. Their cultural and religious traditions are rooted, in large part, in the people’s deep and close ties to the mountains, river ways, forests, and deserts of this ancient Zuni homeland.
The project was first identified back in 2000 to meet the needs of the Community. The site selection study was completed in 20012 and then the planning began. The final product was the newest airport in New Mexico with 473,000 cubic yards of earthwork, 256 acres fenced, 8,847 tons of asphalt, runway and taxiway lights.
“The NMDOT – Aviation Division was pleased to be a partner with the Pueblo of Zuni for this great accomplishment,” said Lucero. “It was a team effort and was a wonderful day celebrating the Pueblo of Zuni and the newest airport in New Mexico.”