Runway 17C/35C is set to reopen to air traffic after an innovative $133 million enhancement project, at Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.
The runway was originally opened in 1983, and has been under construction since May 2018, to resurface more than 13,000 feet of pavement with high-tech, weather-resistant asphalt. The runway includes enhanced LED lighting and pavement markings.
Khaled Naja, executive vice president of infrastructure and development at DFW, said: “The reopening of Runway 17C is a testament to the great work of DFW employees and the tremendous partnerships we have with the FAA, our airline partners and our contractors. The team endured one of the rainiest periods in DFW history and has upgraded our airfield to better serve our customers safely and efficiently for decades to come.”
The rehabilitation required more than 200,000 hours of labour and 220,000 tonnes of asphalt, creating DFW’s first asphalt runway and completing the first full runway refurbishment at the Airport since it opened in 1974. The runway handles approximately 40-percent of arrivals into DFW.
Asphalt was chosen as a durable replacement for concrete using a special mix called PG88/-22, which withstands temperatures up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The special mix, approved by the FAA, underwent rigorous quality controls during the construction process, with testing conducted at every 2,000 tonnes during production.
Chad Makovsky, executive vice president of operations at DFW, said: “DFW took every step possible to reduce the construction time and return the air traffic patterns to normal as quickly as possible. We thank the FAA and our surrounding communities for working with us to find innovative solutions to keep the airfield operating at full capacity over the last several months.”
Detailed FAA inspections will take place over the next two weeks, preparing the runway for its first arrival, on March 10, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opens it for traffic. The project was funded through $80 million in FAA grants.
Feature image by Geometrics Engineering PS Inc.