The summer of change. That's what lies ahead for both Mammoth and Bishop Airports. The facilities will work together to accommodate aircraft business.
As we have reported, Mammoth-Yosemite Airport will close down from June through September for a major re-surfacing of the runway. During that time, air traffic will likely use Bishop Airport.
Temporary Airport Manager Paul Hancock confirmed that planes will use Bishop Airport for fuel, stop-overs and tie-downs. "I don't anticipate any major problems to provide landings and fuel," he said.
Mammoth Airport Manager Bill Manning had said that the 10 to 12 jets that frequent Mammoth Airport daily will have to do business in Bishop. Hancock said that right now, 3 to 4 jets land for fuel daily in Bishop. To add ten or so to the line might mean a slight wait for refueling. He said it won't be a show stopper but maybe a minor inconvenience.
As for Mammoth aircraft owners, many of them have called Bishop about hangar space. Hancock said there is no hangar space available but plenty of tie-downs.
Another feature missing from Bishop – an airport restaurant. The previous eatery drew locals and out of towners to enjoy a meal and watch the airplanes land and take off.
Hancock said Inyo County has advertised a request for proposals but so far no deals. He said that if someone meets the minimum requirements, the County can work out a deal with them. Hancock added that airport personnel receive daily inquiries about when a restaurant might return.