Fort Worth Alliance Airport Sees First International VVIP Flight

 - December 7, 2020, 12:13 PM
A $275 million runway expansion project at Dallas-area Fort Worth Alliance Airport has enabled a Boeing 777-300ER modified on the field by GDC Technics to make an 8,000-mile nonstop flight to Delhi, India. The airport sees a large number of international cargo flights, and its now 11,000-foot twin runways allow for full fuel tanks on takeoff under any conditions. (Photo: Alliance Air Services)

When a Boeing 777-300ER modified by GDC Technics recently made an 8,000-mile nonstop delivery flight from Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW) to Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, it marked the first-ever international VVIP aircraft departure from the Dallas-area field. According to the airport, which is owned by the city and managed by Hillwood Development subsidiary Alliance Air Services, the aircraft was destined for head-of-state service with the Indian government, and AFW could not have hosted such a flight involving a twin-aisle, fully-fueled aircraft before its 2018 expansion project. Runways 16R/34L and 16L/34R, at 8,200 and 9,600 feet, respectively, were lengthened to 11,000 feet, along with Taxiway A, during the construction program.

“The runway extension project was one of the most complex airport improvement projects to ever be undertaken by Hillwood or the FAA,” said Air Alliance president Tom Harris. “The expansion will continue to provide greater flight capability and enable long-haul flights to take off fully-fueled under almost any weather condition.”

While GDC would not specifically identify the client, it did release information via a press release about the scope of the work that included equipping the aircraft with an extensive security system and a Ku-band satcom antenna for global connectivity and full-range IFE functionality. The cabin interior was completely reconfigured with office space, meeting rooms, medical bay, press briefing area, and VVIP stateroom.

“GDC Technics was trusted to complete this incredible, two-aircraft project for our customer, and we are proud to have delivered the first aircraft successfully,” said company CEO Brad Foreman. “We overcame the difficulties and delays presented due to the Covid-19 pandemic and were still able to exceed our customer’s satisfaction with this delivery.”