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Thunder Bay International down one runway during construction

The 20 million dollar project which is split between transport Canada and the airport is the first major capital project they have been eligible to receive

THUNDER BAY - The Thunder Bay International Airport is down to one runway as crews begin the work to upgrade almost every facet of the main runway and supporting infrastructure.

"We only have the one runway, 1230, its a non-instrument level of service runway, meaning in really foggy or low cloud covering days, we may actually not be able to have aircrafts land on that runway," said Ryan Brading, manager, Airport Services.

The $20 million project, which is split between Transport Canada and the airport, is the first major capital project they've been eligible to receive, and started construction on May 6.

Brading says there will be upgrades to nearly every part of the runway and supporting infrastructure.

"The asphalt is being milled and paved 150-millimetre depth, we're reducing the width of the runway, the big benefit is that we will be upgrading the level of service, the standard to the new addition, so we will be fully compliant with the fifth edition of the TP312 standard," he said.

Other work will include full runway edge lighting replacement, airfield signage, replacement of cables and conduit under the runway, as well as a new sub-drain system.

Brading says the runway will reopen to full length for a total of seven days during construction to accommodate special charter flights, like for the Viking cruise line coming to Thunder Bay this summer, but does have a timeline they hope to follow toward reopening.

"The plan is to reopen the runway with all the new infrastructure on September 25, notwithstanding any delays we may see due to weather or unforeseeable things over construction, were hoping to reopen before October," he said.

The airport will also be installing a recess which is a runway end safety area that consists of a 150-meter-long built-up pad that is able to support an aircraft in case of an excursion, a new requirement imposed by transport Canada and will close runway 12 again in October.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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