18R/36L Safety Area Study
On November 30, 2005, Public Law 109-115 was enacted which established December 31, 2015 as a deadline for all Runway Safety Areas (RSA) at commercial service airports throughout the country to be in compliance with appropriate safety requirements. At the present time, the RSA’s for Runway 18R/36L (also known as the “west runway”) at Tulsa International Airport do not fully comply with the FAA’s standards. Typically, an RSA is a relatively flat area of ground, 500 feet wide, that extends 1,000 feet beyond both ends of a runway. The RSA at the south end of the runway currently extends approximately 600 feet beyond the runway and on the north end it extends approximately 50 feet. As part of its Capital Improvement Program, the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust is developing projects that will bring Tulsa International Airport into compliance prior to the national deadline. A planning study was completed that considered a wide range of alternatives that are available to address the existing deficiencies. The primary goal of the project is to improve the safety of airport operations associated with this runway. It was critical that the solution maintain appropriate levels of service and function for the runway. In particular, maintaining, to the maximum extent possible, the existing useable runway length was a key consideration as alternatives were studied. It was also essential that a project be developed that will have little, if any, impact on properties surrounding the airport and its environs. The planning study included opportunities for input from the public, including tenants and users of the airport as well as surrounding property owners. The final report from the planning study was submitted to the FAA for their consideration on March 29, 2012.
Following consideration of the planning study, the FAA issued a Runway Safety Area determination on June 24, 2013 that established the basic criteria for the project that is now being developed for implementation. Following is a diagram published in December 2013 that provides an overview of the project that is currently under design. The construction project is expected to be awarded in the third quarter of 2014 with a construction start projected for the second quarter of 2015.