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Nevada Aviation Trust Fund

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The 2005 Nevada Legislature authorized the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) (Senate Bill No. 526, Section 24), to conduct a study to identify sustainable funding sources for Nevada’s rural airports. The study was completed by Parsons Brinckerhoff through a study committee consisting of airport and aviation professionals, NDOT and Department of Taxation staff.

Disbursements of $500,000 from the fund were administered consistent with NRS 494.048 and SB 526. NDOT passed through all the monies and did not use any for administration.

Eighteen rural airports have received agreements for matching monies from the trust fund that total about $19 million in federal funds. The Nevada Aviation Technical Advisory Committee (NATAC) and the Nevada Airport Managers Association (NAMA) assisted in the criteria selection process and concurred with the selections. Airports owned by the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and Clark County Department of Aviation are ineligible for use of this fund.

Funding was used for noise programs, runway improvements, taxiway/aircraft apron improvements, and planning studies/environmental analyses. The fund allowed airports to have the required five percent match; in some cases this freed up monies that would have been used as match to other county or city activities. In a few cases the trust fund match allowed the project to proceed as other sources for the match were not available. Each state dollar was leveraged to bring in nineteen federal dollars!

The value of state monies include being able to provide match at airports where match is problematic, to provide better airport facilities for aerial firefighting, public service agencies like search and rescue, agricultural crop/mosquito spraying, tourism, flight training, mining, air ambulance, flying doctors and veterinarians, and recreation purposes. Over 3300 Nevada jobs are directly linked to aviation with earnings over $86 million. Airports and airspace are the aviation equivalent of the highway system. Our neighboring states spend about $30,000 per airport per year with a high of $300,000 for Arizona and a low of $24,000 for California. Click on the links below to see the results of the Aviation Trust Fund.

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