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Ford airport re-constructs runway

June 8, 2015
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Gerald R. Ford International Airport is served by five passenger airlines with 120 daily scheduled non-stop flights to and from 24 major market destinations.

One of Gerald R. Ford International Airport’s three runways will undergo re-construction beginning June 22, which the airport said is necessary to support future pilot training.

Runway 8L/26R is an east-west runway just north of the airport terminal building with a primary purpose of accommodating smaller general aviation and flight training activity.

The $3.69-million re-construction project is to replace the concrete runway surface, which has degraded over time.

The airport said today the project will not impact airport operations and be completed within 90 days.

Brian Ryks, executive director of the airport, said the improvements are necessary “to support previous investments in general aviation facilities and hangars on the north side of our airfield.”

Kalin Construction in Sodus was awarded the contract for the project.

Flight training grows

The re-construction project will also support flight training growth at the airport.

The growing general aviation fleet at Ford airport includes young pilots from the West Michigan Aviation Academy, or WMAA, who currently account for more than 2,000 annual takeoffs and landings at the airport.

"With the continued growth of our flight training program . . . the ability to conduct flight operations on the north parallel will be essential,” said George Pavey, dean of aviation, WMAA.

He said the use of runway 8L/26R allows for “seamless integrating into the air traffic control environment” at the airport.

“The completion of this project will further help WMAA expand its ability to provide the next generation of aviators with the highest quality flight training in a truly world-class environment,” Pavey said.

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