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May 18, 2011 1:23:49 PM PDT
Napa County Airport is getting a new guidance system that will allow pilots to land there in adverse weather.

Congressman Mike Thompson, D-Napa, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will break ground at the airport in Napa Wednesday afternoon on the Glidescope Antenna System.

The airport's current landing system uses only a localizer that provides pilots with horizontal guidance when landing, airport manager Martin Pehl said.

The new system will provide pilots with vertical guidance, Pehl said.

"This will provide a precision approach and allow landings in lower visibility," Pehl said.

The system will be used on one of the airport's three runways, Pehl said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is providing $1.5 million for the Glidescope system, which should be operational by the end of the year, Pehl said.

Thompson helped secure federal funding for the project.

"We are grateful for the leadership shown by Rep. Thompson, on behalf of the residents of Napa, in ensuring that this improvement to our airport is funded," Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd said in a statement.

Napa County officials will also talk to LaHood about much-needed local infrastructure improvements and how to obtain more federal funding for those projects, said Larry Florin, Napa County's community and intergovernmental affairs manager.

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