PUNTA GORDA, FL (July 20, 2021) – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently named PGD’s Runway 15-33 Rehab & Extension its 2021 Commercial Service Airport Project of the Year. The honor was bestowed to PGD’s CEO James W. Parish, P.E. at the Florida Airports Council Annual Conference held in Jacksonville this week.
Each year the FDOT presents awards honoring superior achievement in the categories of Aviation Professional of the Year, Distinguished Aviation Service, Commercial Service Airport of the Year, Commercial Service Airport Project of the Year, General Aviation Airport of the Year, and General Aviation Airport Project of the Year.
In order to be considered for the Commercial Service Airport Project of the Year, the project had to demonstrate a significant contribution to airport development, sustainability, efficiency, capacity and/or safety.
Both Runways 15-33 and 4-22 were identified in PGD’s Master Plan as high-priority projects essential to the local economy and to meeting the FAA’s minimum service levels. By extending Runway 15-33 by 593 feet to provide a length of 6,286 feet, PGD will be able to maintain existing air carrier operations when Runway 4-22 is closed for rehabilitation later in 2021.
The Charlotte County Airport Authority’s innovative project team also incorporated essential safety and operational improvements to maximize the airfield for all its users, including GA pilots, onsite flight schools, medical air transport, charter services and public services. The Airport Authority partnered with Kimley-Horn on the engineering and design, and contracted with Ajax Paving Industries of Florida for the construction.
“I am proud of how our team took a holistic approach to project management. They worked together to implement additional safety improvements while maximizing resources,” said Parish. “The project also required close coordination with federal and state funding partners, tenants, inspectors and contractors to ensure milestones, budgets and grant assurances were met.”
PGD’s Runway 15-33 Rehab & Extension project also included the following enhancements:
- Runway 15-33’s improved design eliminated a known FAA “hot spot” at the intersection of Runway 9 and 15. For decades Runways 9 and 15 were connected, posing collision/runway incursion risks. The new design not only decoupled the runways, it added Taxiway Connector E1 for safe and easy access to Runway 9.
- It also realigned Taxiway D to have a full 90-degree connection to Runway 4, which greatly improved visibility for pilots.
- Taxiway H was added as a connector to the new extension, and Taxiway A was realigned to run parallel with Runway 4-22.
- This project also included new blast pads to reduce erosion from jet blast, and runway grooving and drainage improvements to reduce standing water.
- Approximately 14 acres of airfield wetlands were filled to minimize wildlife attractants – resulting in a 50% reduction in strike reports over similar timeframes in the previous two years.
- In addition, a T-Hangar access road was realigned to avoid safety area encroachments due to revisions to the displaced threshold for the Runway 15 End.
- At the Runway 33 End, a roadway was realigned to avoid encroachment into the new Runway Protection Zone.