Those living and working near W.K. Kellogg Airport may notice some differing air traffic patterns this week as final grooving and marking are scheduled to take place, finishing the rehabilitation of the 10,004-foot Runway 5L/23R.
The work is scheduled to begin tonight, May 2, and take approximately eight nights, barring any unforeseen circumstances and/or inclement weather. Work hours are expected to be 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Runway 5L/23R will be closed during this work, but the airport’s other two runways will remain open for a majority of the time. Runway 13/31 also will be closed when this work moves to its intersection with 5L/23R, which is anticipated to take two nights.
The grooves help with drainage when it rains, or when snow and ice melt during the winter months. This helps with aircraft braking and control.
This rehabilitation work began last year, prompted by the runway’s top layer of asphalt reaching the end of its useful life. This work is expected to maintain the runway for the next 10 to 15 years; it last saw this type of maintenance in 1998.
The total cost of the project is $6.056 million. The Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program provided $4.875 million; the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics provided $270,833; and the city funded the remaining cost of $910,167.
A variety of aircraft use this runway, from small business jets and single-engine aircraft, to large military cargo aircraft, to high-performance fighter jets.