People flying out of Lloydminster Airport can expect a smooth take-off as the runway upgrades are complete.
The project started in 2012 and is now complete with the runway, main apron and taxiway alpha repaved with four inches of overlay. Overnight work during the summer kept the construction from interrupting the airlines at the airport.
Lloydminster Airport Manager Wade Frasz says the project took two more weeks to finish than expected but the new paving ensures the safety of the aircraft.
“It’s a smoother, safer surface now. It makes it easier for them to land and less chance of having any damage. It doesn’t make any difference in the number of aircraft and we can still handle a 737.”
The need for the rehabilitation came from 38 transverse cracks, caused by frost and winter, causing damage to planes at the airport.
“It pushed our asphalt a bit and now we’ve fixed all those cracks. In aviation, we’re allowed one inch of deviation in a crack and we were at that point. It now makes it safer for the aircraft to land. You’re no longer getting those bumps taxing the suspension on the aircraft.”
Previously, the airport was grandfathered into some of Transport Canada Standards, however, with the upgrades, the airport is now up to modern standards.
“We’ve brought everything up to fifth edition now. We have all these new lead-in lines and changed out some lights. Any regulations we have to turn around and make sure all the slopes on the edges of the runway are good once were done adding four inches. So we’re all up to code now.”
More upgrades are headed to the airport as city council recently approved upgrades to the walkways from the terminal to the main apron as well as paving for one of the taxiways west of the terminal.
“We’re still doing some work. We’re going to make the walkway smoother and it’ll make it nicer for wheelchair accessibility. It’s still 1981 asphalt so it’s time to upgrade it.”