Salina's new runway to open this month

 - October 12, 2007, 11:30 AM

Originally planned as a parallel runway, the new 4,300-foot strip at Salina Airport, Kan., is now offset by one magnetic degree from the main Runway 17-35 and has an expected commission date of June 30. Now oriented as Runway 18-36, the new VFR, daytime runway is meant as a reliever for the airport’s extensive training operations conducted by Kansas State University’s Salina College of Technology and Aviation. The college fields a fleet of Cessna 172s, Beech Sundowners, Bonanzas, Barons and a King Air C90. The university also operates a Citation CJ1.

Airport executive director Tim Rogers told AIN that the FAA redesignated the new runway as 18-36 because of runway-incursion data indicating that parallel runways are more dangerous. Originally expected to be completed in May, the project was delayed a month by paperwork, said Rogers. He also told AIN that a separate project to rehabilitate the existing main runway has been put off until next year because funding from the FAA Airport Improvement Program was slow in arriving. Planned work includes resurfacing and updating the runway lighting.

Other than university flight training, most of the rest of the airport’s 95,000 operations last year consisted of jet operations on 13,337-foot Runway 17-35. The two FBOs on the field, Flower Aviation and Midway Aviation, are located adjacent to the main strip and are not affected by the ongoing construction. Both specialize in quick-turn fueling for coast-to-coast jets. Last year, the pair of FBOs pumped a combined 4.7 million gallons of jet-A and 100LL.

Other airport tenants include the Kansas Army National Guard Army Aviation Support unit, Kansas Highway Patrol Aviation Detachment, Raytheon Aircraft, Salina Aircraft Sales and the Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. A total of more than 70 businesses employing more than 4,500 people are located either on the airport or within the Salina Airport Industrial Center.