ADOT OKs grant for Rolle Field master plan
The Arizona Department of Transportation has approved a $178,734 grant for Yuma International Airport to develop a master plan for Rolle Field, which is expected to become an important asset for future development of aviation in Yuma County.
Rolle Field and Yuma International Airport are managed and operated by the Yuma County Airport Authority.
The grant had been in question due to a ruling by the state attorney general that the agreement the airport authority has for use of the airfield was insufficient. Since 1985, the airport has had a property contract rather than a lease with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the 640-acre field.
However, the issue was resolved with an amendment to the scope of work for the master plan. It will include creating a road map on how to amend the airport's existing agreement to increase its ability to obtain future grants from the FAA and ADOT.
The current 25-year license agreement between BOR and the airport extends it through Oct. 22, 2034.
Rolle Field is located within the city of San Luis. For now, it is most often used by the general aviation community to practice “touch and go” landings. However, the airfield has lately become an important adjunct to the Yuma airport's Defense Contractor Complex that caters to the military and government aviation industry.
“Rolle has become more important to the aviation and defense industry as they look for places to conduct aeronautical research and development,” said Rob Ingold, president of the authority. “Testing unmanned aircraft is a growing industry as well. This grant will help us meet the demand and create high-paying jobs for Yuma County.”
The firm of Morrison-Maierle is expected to complete the master plan during the next seven months. The planning process will include several public meetings for community input about the best way to grow Rolle Field.
The master plan's objective is to provide the community, public officials and the Yuma County Airport Authority with guidance for future development to satisfy regional general aviation demands and be wholly compatible with the environment.
“Our goal is to maximize the benefit of Rolle Field for the citizens of Yuma County,” said Gen Grosse, the airport's corporate account manager.
Grosse said the airport also needs to understand the impact of unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations with respect to pavement, ground space and the national airspace (NAS). “To accomplish that goal, considerable effort will be required to understand and incorporate the mixed UAS/NAS perspective.”