Aug. 30, 2013

Tenants and operators at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) celebrated on Aug. 29 the formal reopening of the Southern California airfield’s primary runway, 16R/34L, capping a successful seven-month, $20.5 million rehabilitation effort that project manager HNTB Corporation termed “one of the most aggressively-phased runway maintenance projects ever conducted at a general aviation airfield.”

“Collaborating with key stakeholders early in the process enabled us to develop a mutually beneficial solution and successfully execute the project,” added Laddie Irion, HNTB senior vice president.

NBAA reported last year on efforts between the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), airport stakeholders, and HNTB to reduce the contractor’s initial 17-week time estimate to perform required maintenance and repaving work on the 8,000-foot runway.

Review “Planned VNY Runway Closure Limited to 10 Days”.

Following those discussions, HNTB determined a less-intensive combination of resurface work and reconditioning, accomplished in four phases, would suffice. Crews first performed work at the north and then south ends of the runway – leaving at least 5,000 feet of pavement available for operations, enough for the majority of aircraft based at VNY – and a 10-day closure period for completion of the runway’s center section.

Two, four-night closure periods were also required to move equipment, install temporary blast fencing to protect work crews, and reconfigure landing aids on 16R/34L in consideration of the shorter runway lengths. The smaller, 4,000-foot parallel runway 16L/34R remained open throughout the construction process.

Curt Castagna, president/CEO of the Aerolease/Aeroplex Group, and president of the Van Nuys Airport Association, praised city officials, airport tenants and operators who worked together to ensure all parties were prepared for the closure.

“Thanks to this collaborative effort to minimize disruptions, everyone successfully managed this major construction project at the busiest general aviation airport in the world,” he added. “The project completed at Los Angeles’s Business Airport – VNY, serves as a shining example of how airport authorities and businesses can work together to preserve access and minimize negative impacts.”

“This project was a fantastic model of LAWA and the contractor working in partnership with airport stakeholders to ensure that general aviation and business aviation operations were not unduly restricted as this vital reconstruction work was completed,” added Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western region representative.

VNY also plans to mark its 85th anniversary this year with an open house scheduled for Sept. 1.