CLARENDON — Half of Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport’s mountain obstruction lights are out, and given their location, it might be a while before anyone can reach them.
Airport Manager Chris Beitzel said Tuesday there are eight mountain obstruction lights on the ridgelines around the airport that allow pilots to see where the ridgelines are at night. He said the lights were knocked out in recent months by a storm.
Beitzel said a “notice to airmen” was issued through the Federal Aviation Administration alerting pilots of the issue.
The extent and nature of the damage isn’t entirely known, Beitzel said. It’s believed there might be some trees down on the power lines that feed the light towers.
During the past few months, the airport, has submitted two requests for proposals and received no response, though Beitzel said he’s meeting with a local company this week to see if it will be interested in the work.
Fixing the lights isn’t a simple job, Beitzel said. Unlike other power lines, these are in heavily wooded, steep areas. A crew would need to hike in with all of the equipment they might need.
He’s not sure how much the project might cost, as the total scope of the damage isn’t known, and there haven’t been any bidders.
The other lights are solar powered, Beitzel said, but one of them has sustained slight damage from a storm and will need fixing as well.
Beitzel said Wednesday that because the airport doesn’t have a tower, it doesn’t track the number of night flights coming in and out.