“Here was a nick I filed it out but, that’s the kind of nick that comes off of the payment,” says Ed Mandibles, as he takes a look at his plane.
It’s damage like this that can be dangerous for pilots like him.
“The prop flexes in the air a little and it would go through the aluminum and eventually breaking off,” he says.
If the prop breaks off it would cause a safety hazard.
To blame is the cracked asphalt that was once at a section of the ramp of the Lompoc Airport.
“Pieces of asphalt would come up and get in your prop and if you get a good dig in them they aren’t safe anymore,” he says.
Before this $1.3 million renovation project began at the airport the asphalt was decades old.
“The pavement has failed and it’s coming up in pieces,” he says.
Cones now corner off a section of dirt where repairs are being made.
“It’s a project that a lot of the airports in need to get done so we are happy we got the funding,” says David Hughes.
Hughes is the owner of Skydive Santa Barbara that operates out of the airport.
“Before renovations this ramp was about 60 years old so there were chunks of rocks and stones we would often have to come out with our brooms to clean it up,” says Hughes.
He says 90% of the funding for the project is coming from the FAA. Another 5% is coming by state funds.
He says while the project is causing somewhat of an inconvenience it’s something that is needed.
“It’s something that has to be done to make it a lot safer for pilots around here,” he says.
The project is expected to be completed by the first week of July.