Tallahassee Regional Airport runways face construction

The Tallahassee Regional Airport is under a two-year reconstruction period after failing to meet Federal Aviation Administration design criteria and operational requirements.

Runway 9-27 has a longitudinal hump in the runway, and Runway 18-36 must be extended.

According to Runway 9-27 Reconstruction Phase II documentation, the runway is displaying wear and distress and is in need of a full rehabilitation.

The runway also has a line-of-sight issue that does not meet FAA design standards. This project is needed to rehabilitate the runway pavement surface, extending the life of the pavement and correcting a noted design deficiency.

Section 139.305 of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations for Aeronautics and Space indicates that the pavement must be free of cracks and surface variations that could impair directional control of air car aircraft.

“You have to be able to see from one end to the other,” said Chris Curry, director of aviation at Tallahassee Regional Airport. “It’s a line-of-sight issue.”

The reconstruction project levels out the runway to rid the issue.

Runway 18-36 must be extended because it is 6,000 feet, which is not long enough for aircrafts to take off, particularly during the hotter seasons.

Runway 9-27 was being utilized while Runway 18-36 was being extended from October to the end of the year. Once Runway 18-36 was finished, Runway 9-27 closed in January and employees began renovation.

Industry insiders are excited that necessary steps are being taken to repair any damages that may affect the overall well being of passengers and workers.

“Safety is always a top priority in the aviation industry, and it’s important to try to resolve possible issues before they have a chance to occur,” said Brittney Lane, a flight attendant for Republic Airways.

Marina Campbell, a wildlife biology student at Tallahassee Community College from Tallahassee, said she thinks it’s great that the runways undergoing reconstruction.

“I think for Tallahassee to become more of a central hub, especially for businesspeople, that is definitely an issue that needs to be resolved,” Campbell said.

Curry said the physical aspect of the project started in October, and it is projected to be completed by the end of this year.

The estimated $26 million project also includes rebuilding connecting taxiways to match the new runway and associated electrical, landscaping and storm water retention work.