DFW set to reopen its busiest runway to flights after upgrade

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The busiest runway at one of the busiest airports in the world is set to reopen to air traffic after an innovative $133 million enhancement project at Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.

Originally opened in 1983, Runway 17C/35C has been under construction since May 2018 to resurface more than 13,000 feet of pavement with high-tech, weather-resistant asphalt.

The runway is expected to receive its first arrival flight on 10 March at 07:00h (local time), when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opens it for traffic.

“The reopening of Runway 17C is a testament to the great work of DFW employees and the tremendous partnerships we have with the FAA, our airline partners and our contractors,” said DFW’s executive vice president of infrastructure and development, Khaled Naja.

“The team endured one of the rainiest periods in DFW history and has upgraded our airfield to better serve our customers safely and efficiently for decades to come.”

At 13,401 feet, Runway 17C/35C handles approximately 40 per cent of arrivals into DFW. The rehabilitation required more than 200,000 hours of labour and 220,000 tons of asphalt, creating DFW’s first asphalt runway and completing the first full runway refurbishment at the airport since it opened in 1974.

Detailed FAA inspections will take place over the next two weeks, preparing the runway for its first arrival. The runway includes enhanced LED lighting and pavement markings. The project was funded through $80 million in FAA grants.