Posted November 18, 2010 in Press Releases
Green, OH: What does ten years and $60 million get you? How about a dream runway at the Akron-Canton Airport(CAK). At 11:20 a.m. this morning, we will commission the single largest capital project in airport history, the extension and safety upgrade of runway 5/23. The mammoth project is the centerpiece of the airport's comprehensive capital improvement program -- CAK 2018.More than 120 guests will witness the inaugural departure of an AirTran Airways Boeing 737 jet after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony on the runway.
"This is a very special day at the Akron-Canton Airport," said Rick McQueen, president and CEO. "This runway signifies more than just new pavement, it provides a path forward; to new destinations and new opportunities for decades to come. The improved 5/23 truly is our crown jewel and a vital piece of aviation infrastructure for the region."
The improvements to Runway 5/23 include an additional 800 feet of runway length and a vital safety upgrade on the end of Runway 5. The project was born in 2000 as part of a nationwide Runway Safety Area improvement mandate. After careful consideration and a needs justification, the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided to include the extension; adding to the project's impact and regional significance. After various federal approvals, construction began in late 2005. The total runway project cost $60 million. Most of the funding to support the Runway 5/23 project came from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program funds. The airport contributed five percent of the total project cost out of operating revenue. No bonds or other financing tools were used to finance the project.
5/23 Project Overview:
August 2000: FAA determines both ends of 5/23 require runway safety area upgrade.
April 2004: Runway Safety Area Study that outlined the most effective method to accomplish the upgrade and justify the extension is completed.
December 2004:Environmental Assessment approved by the FAA.
October 2005:First grant was received and work began in October.
March 2006-Oct 2009:Earthwork to extend south end of runway.
March 2010:FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt delivers our last grant ($16 million).
November 2010:Runway commissioned and open for business.