The Montana Air National Guard (MANG), in partnership with the United States Department of Defense – National Guard Bureau (NGB), authorized design and construction of a 5.8-acre concrete apron expansion and supporting facilities to accommodate the mission of the MANG facility in Great Falls, Montana. The project more than doubled the military aircraft parking capacity of the facility, enabling the Guard to strengthen its ability to train and prepare the men and women of the Montana Air National Guard to respond to emergencies and provide support during war and in times of crisis.
The new 5.8-acre concrete apron expansion added four fully-compliant parking positions for the C-130J aircraft, as well as additional connecting taxilanes to the Great Falls International Airport (GFIA) airfield to allow any of the parked C-130’s to access the GFIA airfield without having to move another parked C-130. Other improvements included a new surface runoff collection system and lined evaporation pond to properly manage the runoff of glycol-based fluid from aircraft deicing operations, new stormwater piping and manholes, new airfield lighting and apron security lighting, and modifications to aircraft tiedown locations in the existing apron to accommodate the recent mission change from C-130H aircraft to the larger C-130J aircraft.
RPA provided professional civil engineering and land surveying services for this project. Specific services provided included: comprehensive 7-acre topographical site survey, apron and taxiway design, utility design and full-time construction observation and administration.
In addition to designing and phasing the improvements to minimize impacts to both Montana Air National Guard and Great Falls International Airport (GFIA) operations, the inclusion of multiple significant regulatory agencies and stakeholders greatly increased the complexity of this project. Not only was the design required to meet strict National Guard and United States Air Force requirements, it also was required to fully comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design and construction standards and requirements of the GFIA, due to MANG’s adjacency to, and utilization of, GFIA’s runways and taxiways. The design team held numerous meetings with all of the above agencies/stakeholders, to ensure both design and construction were in full compliance with all requirements. In total, more than 20 Department of Defense Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC’s), United States Air Force Engineering Technical Letters (ETL’s) and FAA Advisory Circulars were incorporated as required design standards for the project.