November 16, 2012

Van Nuys Airport’s (VNY) project to rehabilitate its 8,000-foot-long primary runway (16R/34L) is mobilizing.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has awarded a contract for the work to Security Paving Co., of Sun Valley, Calif., and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) – the airport department of the city government – launched an awareness campaign at NBAA’s Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012) in October to keep VNY tenants and pilots informed about construction-related changes.

“VNY is one of the busiest community airports in the country, and it’s very important for our Members to be able to plan ahead,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative. “The key to operational safety and efficiency during VNY runway construction will be good communication. NBAA will do its part to help facilitate that communications process for our Members.”

VNY aims to make a detailed, real-time schedule with specific dates for full and partial runway closures available on its VNY runway improvement project website and hotline (818-442-6556) in late December, prior to its briefing and workshop for VNY tenants in January, said airport manager Jess Romo.

Pilots will be able to call VNY’s project hotline or check its project website for the latest construction-schedule updates, full and partial closure dates, shortened runway periods and 24-hour contact telephone numbers. Notices to airmen (NOTAMs) will be issued from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with updated information. Operators are encouraged to check NOTAMs frequently when planning flights in and out of VNY.

According to the latest plan, construction will begin in April 2013, with 45 days dedicated to repairs to the runway’s north end. Then, in June 2013, 20 days of repair work will take place on the south end. During these times, when the 4,400-foot-long center section of the runway will remain operational, a minimum of 5,000 feet will be available for arrivals and 5,209 feet available for departures. The runway will close for 26 nights, as well as for 10 full days in July 2013, when mill-and-overlay work will take place on the center runway section.

The project should be completed by the end of August 2013.

The revamp, funded mainly by an $18.4 million FAA Airport Improvement Program grant awarded in September, aims to minimize disruptions at VNY. With more than 308,000 operations in 2011, the southern California airport draws an outsize number of heavy aircraft that stress the primary runway. The improvements now in progress will extend its lifespan by 20 years.