Sierra Blanca Regional Airport Celebrates Major Runway Renovations

Jan 19, 2024 | Press Release

Senator George K. Muñoz & Senator Burt Celebrated Renovations with Ribbon Cutting! First airport to receive a fully-funded grant from the NMDOT Aviation Division

The Village of Ruidoso celebrated the completion of a major runway and taxiway renovation at Sierra Blanca Regional Airport in December 2023. Senator Muñoz sponsored House Bill 2 – General Appropriation Act, a portion of which allotted $55 million to enhance regional airports in New Mexico with Sierra Blanca being the first of many to benefit.

Senator Muñoz and Senator Burt were on-hand to cut the ribbon and celebrate the major runway renovations.

Sierra Blanca Regional Airport was the first airport to receive a fully-funded grant from the New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division for the Taxiway B rehabilitation project. This allowed for a simultaneous reconstruction of Runway 12/30 and rehabilitation of Taxiway B. The simultaneous completion of projects created savings in construction costs and minimized airport closure time. By leveraging federal and state grants, the village was able to maximize its financial contributions ensuring continued operation and safety of its aviation needs.

“New Mexico had begun a major infrastructure investment movement in our State. It is exciting that Ruidoso was able to utilize funding and become the first completed project,” said Senator Muñoz. Senator Muñoz emphasized that he is committed to aviation advancements in local communities.

The combined project cost was just under $13 million, with $9 million allotted for the runway and $4 million for the taxiway. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program typically allocates federal grants for just one project having a budgeted amount available with a state and local match.

“It is exciting to join with legislators and other elected officials, and representatives of state and local government agencies to celebrate the completion of improvements at the Ruidoso airport,” said Alicia Ortiz, Acting Executive Director, NMDOT Modal Division. She continued, “Through the support of state funding, appropriated by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham, improvements like these are slated for completion in the coming months at more than 40 additional airports across the state.”

This rehabilitation to pavement and enhanced lighting on the runway and taxiways will increase safety for airport operators while providing an economic boost to the community and strengthen public safety by supporting services such as medical transport, air ambulance, and police and firefighting operations.