Final Phase of Runway Reconstruction Now Underway

January 22, 2014 – Reconstruction activity on the airport’s primary commercial service runway resumed on Monday, January 20, 2014.  The $13.3M project is the fourth and final phase of a multi-phased effort to completely reconstruct the airport’s 9,999’ runway.  The 18” thick runway was last reconstructed in 1982.


Airport staff has worked closely with Atkins, North America, Inc. (design team), Interstate Highway Construction, Inc. (contractor), and airport tenants to ensure minimal impact to flight operations throughout the construction period.  This phase is particularly challenging because it involves the reconstruction of the intersection of the two primary commercial service runways at TUL.  Interstate Highway Construction, Inc. (IHC) will initially begin work on runway 18L/36R, allowing commercial traffic to use the crosswind runway 8/26.   Work on the intersection will take place over 12 extended weekend closures, beginning on Friday, February 14.  The weekend closures will allow the contractor to begin working on Friday evening at 11 PM and remove a section of the intersection that is equivalent to the length of one football field, then pour new concrete, and allow that concrete to cure in time to reopen the runway on Monday afternoon at 2:30 PM.   All aircraft activity will take place on the west runway (18R/36L) throughout the weekend closure.


The impact to airlines should be minimal, however passengers may experience delays or cancellations when weather conditions prohibit the use of the crosswind runway (i.e. generally when northerly or southerly winds exceed 25 knots, when the cloud ceiling is below 500’ or visibility is less than 1.5 miles).


Area residents will also likely notice a change in the regular flight pattern of airplanes on approach to and departing from TUL as they will be following an east/west flow.  General aviation aircraft will continue to utilize the 6,101’ Runway 18R/36L and, if weather conditions warrant, commercial airplanes weighing less than 150,000 pounds will be allowed to use the west runway, which includes an instrument approach to Runway 18R.


Airports Director, Jeff Mulder, said, “Airport staff has worked closely with the design team, contractor, and airport tenants to minimize the impact of the project on airport users.  Once this project is complete, TUL will enjoy the use of this runway for at least 20 years.”


Altogether, the complete reconstruction of Runway 18L/36R is estimated to cost $55M.  The project is predominantly funded by Federal Aviation Administration grants through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).  The AIP is funded by airline ticket taxes and aviation fuel fees.


The attached diagram provides further insight as to the location of the upcoming construction.


Phase 1:  Replaced southern 1285’ of Runway18L/36R.

Start date:  April 4, 2011

Completion date:  June 29, 2011

Construction cost: $6.8M


Phase 2: Replaced northern 1240’ of Runway18L/36R.

Start date:  February 27, 2012

Completion date:  June 11, 2012

Construction cost: $7M


Phase 3: Replaced 6900’ of Runway 18L/36R.

Start date:  January 3, 2013

Completion date:  June 25, 2013

Construction cost: $19.8M


Phase 4: Intersection reconstruction of Runway 18L/36R and Runway 08/26.

Start date:  January 20, 2014

Targeted completion date:  June 2014

Est. construction cost:  $13.3M




About Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT): TAIT was organized in 1967 as a public trust with the City of Tulsa as its sole beneficiary.  TAIT’s purpose is to operate, maintain, construct, improve and/or lease airport facilities serving the City and to incur indebtedness as may be necessary to provide such facilities.  Any indebtedness is payable solely from revenues of TAIT, as it has no authority to levy taxes.  Under federal guidelines, all revenues generated by the airports must be used for airport purposes. The Airport receives no city, state or sales tax dollars.