Aviation News

June 29, 2010

Kennedy Airport Bay Runway Reconstruction Completed Early and Within Budget

Jets once again soared off of the longest runway at New York-John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on Monday, three days ahead of its scheduled July 1st reopening.

Runway 13R/31L, also known as the Bay Runway, was closed on March 1st for a four month overhaul, during which about 11,000 feet of the runway was rebuilt and widened to 200 feet, and two new high-speed taxiways were added, among other improvements. In a second phase, the Bay Runway, along with the intersecting Runway 4L/22R, will be closed for two weeks beginning September 16th for reconstruction of the remaining 3,000+ feet on the southeast end of the runway.

At 14,572 feet, the Bay Runway is the second longest commercial strip in the United States after Denver International’s (DEN) 16,000 foot Runway 16R/34L and is JFK’s busiest, used for about 40% of the airport’s annual departures. During the closure, flight operations were restricted to the airport’s three other runways and airlines extended their reduced winter schedules through June to prevent bottlenecks. The airport will see over 650 takeoffs daily once summer schedules commence on July 1st.

At a reopening ceremony this morning, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport and managed the project in conjuction with the FAA, construction contractors, airlines and other entities, says the first phase was completed within budget.

An Iberia Airbus A340-600 was among the first aircraft to takeoff from the newly rebuilt Bay Runway on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Zee71)

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