ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Sunport is one of the cleanest airports around, right down to its immaculate landscaping. That’s why passengers say the damaged road signs out front are such eyesores.
The city of Albuquerque has spent millions of dollars to make the Sunport look nice, inside and out. Passengers say that’s easy to see.
“I like this airport. I’ve been here several times and it’s so bright and it’s open,” said Jeri Hara, who was visiting from California.
“This is one of my favorites because it really shows a lot of care,” said Tom Schurch, who lives near Raton.
There’s even a message from Albuquerque’s mayor on Sunport Boulevard thanking you for visiting. But right above it sits two blackened signs.
Schurch said, “It really makes a bad impression on the community.”
Drivers pass under the signs after turning onto Sunport Boulevard from I-25. Visitors say the signs left them scratching their heads.
Hara said, “I was confused especially because I didn’t know how to get to the rental car part, so I looked up and then I’m thinking, ‘oh my god, I’m really in a lot of trouble.’”
Others say they just look bad.
“In a way it’s kind of a gateway statement and it makes a statement in terms of how people may think and feel about the greater community,” said Schurch.
Sunport officials say they are responsible for maintaining the signs outside. They say the damage on these two was caused by the sun.
“We noticed earlier this year that that particular sign had been getting darker in color and it really has been accelerated in the last few weeks, with the very high temperatures and the sunlight facing west,” said Sunport Spokesperson Dan Jiron.
They were hoping the signs would last through the end of the year, as the Sunport undergoes a $16 million makeover. During that process, improvements will be coming to the terminal’s ticket and baggage areas and all of the facility’s signs will be replaced.
Jiron said, “It’s kind of time for all of these things to get a facelift.”
In the meantime, Sunport officials say they will re-letter the signs, so they’re easier to read. The sun damage will remain until the signs can be replaced.