Updated VNY Construction Plan Announced

 - June 25, 2012, 4:35 PM
Van Nuys Airport is one the busiest GA airports in the nation

The Van Nuys Airport Association and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) on June 18 agreed to an updated Runway 16 Right reconstruction plan for Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, Calif. VNY is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the U.S. with more than 333,000 operations in FY2011.

Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association, told AIN that the initial plan was to completely reconstruct the entire runway. “That meant 17 weeks of full closure of the 8,001-foot landing surface,” Castagna said. He said that option was unacceptable to the airport’s entire group of stakeholders, including members of the airport association. Castagna’s company, Aeroplex, manages a number of properties at VNY.

“We [the airport association] asked the Airport Board of Commissioners to consider some other options,” Castgna explained.” We knew the runway reconstruction was a $25 million project, but we didn’t want to see a $100 million economic loss occur during the work.” The board was willing to listen and worked with airport tenants through the entire planning process.

“We found two other engineering firms to analyze the same data used by the airport board,” Castagna said. Airport tenants paid the cost. “Our goal was to build a safe runway that would have the best possible life span while also mitigating runway closures.”

Diana Sanchez, director of public and community relations at VNY, said the association and the airport board agreed to a plan that will include four phases of reconstruction with no more than 26 nighttime closures between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when traffic levels are minimum. The work, scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013, will also include 10 days of complete closures when construction must focus on the center section of the runway. That leaves 65 days when the runway will be shortened, but never to less than 5,400 feet.