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Dear Lorena:

Welcome to this week’s e-Newsletter.

You always have a choice in how you can access each issue’s content. You can click below the magazine cover at right to view the entire digital edition, or you can scroll down to read several of the featured stories right away.

No matter how you choose to read us, please enjoy this issue of Airport Improvement.



Airport Improvement October 2013
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Los Angeles Int’l Overhauls Airfield Pavement Maintenance Strategy


Nothing looks better from the ground or the air than a freshly surfaced runway, apron or taxiway. It’s new, it’s fresh and it looks professional. Then Mother Nature goes to work – with pounding rain, scorching sun, freezing temperatures and howling winds. As weather batters it daily, the pavement groans under the weight of heavy equipment and aircraft rolling over its surface. Soon, it begins to crack, moisture seeps in and the nice, beautiful runway looks like someone took a pickax to the surface.

That’s a scenario Garfield County Regional Airport (RIL) in Rifle, CO, was determined to prevent after crews laid fresh, new pavement there three years ago. Instead of waiting five years before resurfacing the new runway as most airports do, RIL devised a preventive maintenance program to postpone a full resurfacing. Data from consultants and vendors indicate that promptly spending a few hundred thousand dollars every few years could save the airport millions of dollars over the runway’s total lifespan.

One of the first things LAX did was hire a consultant, Sightline, to perform a markings audit, explains David Shuter, deputy executive director of Facilities Engineering & Maintenance. Issues identified ran the gamut from peeling paint to markings with improper dimensions and non-current layouts. Reflectivity, which affects pilots’ ability to see markings at night, was a particular problem.


Hi-Lite Markings
Raleigh Memorial Funds Initial Research of Unmanned Air Traffic Advisory System



"Beyond our expectations!"

That was the enthusiastic reaction as stakeholders and other curious observers watched the initial demonstration of an unmanned air traffic advisory system at Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW) in mid-July. While many are quick to dub the system a "virtual tower," its developer is quick to point out an important distinction: The Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (SATAS) advises pilots of potential conflicts in the airspace and on the airfield so they can act accordingly; it does not direct pilots the way actual air traffic controllers do.

Comprised of readily available technologies, the unmanned system is squarely aimed at enhancing safety at airports without control towers. While more research and work needs to be done before the system can be rolled out, the initial success of SATAS is testimony to the creative vision of Dr. David Byers, president of Quadrex Aviation, and the persistence of the Raleigh County Airport Authority and BKW Airport Manager Tom Cochran.


Aerotropolis Americas
Detroit Metro Splits Runway Reconstruction & Fast-Tracks Construction to Maintain Asian Service


Runway 4R-22L serves a special role at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). At 12,000 feet long, it’s the only runway that allows a fully loaded 747 or 777 to depart and fly nonstop to Asian destinations during the warm summer months. As such, 4R-22L is a key element in the airport’s role as Delta Air Lines’ Asian hub.

So when it came time to reconstruct the deteriorating runway, airport officials’ primary concern was maintaining operations during the massive project.

"We had to have the runway open for Delta’s overseas flights in the summer, so they wouldn’t be faced with weight restrictions during their peak season when temperatures and humidity are at the highest and headwinds over the Pacific are greater," explains Director of Airfield Capital Projects Tom McCarthy.


AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT...The Show and Tell of Airport Project Work