California’s Van Nuys Airport celebrated the completion of a seven-month, $20.5 million renovation on its main runway late last week. Aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker sliced the ceremonial ribbon with the speeding wing of his Challenger biplane, officially opening the revamped runway to traffic.
The modernization project on 8,000-foot Runway 16R, the largest maintenance project at the Los Angeles-area airport in more than 50 years, began in February and included approximately 2,500 hours of construction time spread over 300 days. During this time, the runway was closed entirely for 10 full days and 26 nights, and operated with shortened lengths for an additional 65 days.
The improvements include asphalt overlay and partial reconstruction of the runway’s north, center and south sections; installation of a new blast fence at the run-up area; repairs to the existing concrete runway ends; repair and expansion of concrete shoulder pavements; high-speed exit light modifications; new embedded approach lighting; and new pavement markings. The project, which is expected to extend the life of the runway for at least 20 years, was completed on time and on budget, according to airport owner Los Angeles World Airports.