Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is reopening a runway that has been undergoing an upgrade since May 2018.
The busiest runway at one of the busiest airports in the world is set to reopen on March 10 to air traffic after a $133 million enhancement project.
Originally opened in 1983, Runway 17C/35C has been resurfaced with more than 13,000 feet of pavement with high-tech, weather-resistant asphalt. The runway is expected to receive its first arrival flight on March 10 at 7:00 a.m. CST, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opens it for traffic.
“The reopening of Runway 17C is a testament to the great work of DFW employees and the tremendous partnerships we have with the FAA, our airline partners and our contractors,” said Khaled Naja, DFW’s executive vice president of Infrastructure and Development. “The team endured one of the rainiest periods in DFW history and has upgraded our airfield to better serve our customers safely and efficiently for decades to come.”
At 13,401 feet, Runway 17C/35C handles approximately 40 percent of arrivals into DFW. The rehabilitation required more than 200,000 hours of labor and 220,000 tons of asphalt, creating DFW’s first asphalt runway and completing the first full runway refurbishment at the airport since it opened in 1974.
Asphalt was chosen as a durable replacement for concrete using a special mix called PG88/-22, which can withstand temperatures up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The special mix is approved by the FAA and underwent rigorous quality controls during the construction process, with testing conducted at every 2,000 tons during production.
“DFW took every step possible to reduce the construction time and return the air traffic patterns to normal as quickly as possible,” said Chad Makovsky, executive vice president of Operations. “We thank the FAA and our surrounding communities for working with us to find innovative solutions to keep the airfield operating at full capacity over the last several months.”
Detailed FAA inspections will take place over the next two weeks, preparing the runway for its first arrival. The runway includes enhanced LED lighting and pavement markings. The project was funded through $80 million in FAA grants.