TULSA, OK – August 3, 2020 – Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT) awarded an $11.35 million contract to APAC Central, Inc. and a $559,000 contract to Atkins North America at their June Board meeting for work related to the west runway at Tulsa International Airport. The award is part of a $13.2 million overall project to rehab the pavement and bring the runway safety areas (RSA) into compliance with current FAA design standards. Late last month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved grants totaling $12.2 million in support of the project, which has been on the airport’s Capital Improvement Plan since 2005.
“Our team is excited to get this project moving in order to provide a higher quality runway surface for our users on the west side of our airfield,” said Alexis Higgins, CEO of TAIT. “This is the first major rehab project on this runway in more than 25 years and to be able to upgrade all aspects of the runway and NAVAIDS will no doubt increase the utilization for our customers.”
The project includes a full rehabilitation of Runway 18R/36L, removing the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with new material. Runway rehabilitation is essential to the safe operation of the airport due to weathering and pavement cracking over time. The RSA improvements were prompted by an FAA review of the predominant aircraft type using the runway. According to FAA design criteria, the RSA at each end must be 1,000 feet. In order to meet this requirement, a displaced threshold will be added to the north end of the runway. This object free area will protect aircraft in the event of accidental overruns. New runway lighting and signage will also be installed.
The construction is slated to begin in May 2021, with a completion date in October 2021. The airport plans to add an EMAS (engineered material arresting system) to the south end of the runway in 2023 as the final step of the RSA improvements. Impact to operations at the airport during construction are expected to be minimal, with the main runway (18L/36R) still fully in operation.