5,000-foot runway opens at FCM

After years of planning and months of development, the south parallel runway at Minnesota’s Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) reopened Nov. 13 with an extended length of 5,000 feet.

“Improvements to Flying Cloud Airport represent an important investment in the future of the region,” said Jack Lanners, chairman of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “A 5,000-foot runway designed for today’s business jets, together with a new building area, make Flying Cloud Airport a strong selling point in attracting businesses to the region and retaining those already here. These improvements help send a message that this is a great area in which to conduct business and create jobs.”

The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates Flying Cloud and six other airports in the Twin Cities area, broke ground on the $17 million airport improvement project in August 2008. Since that time, Runway 10L/28R was extended 301 feet to a new length of 3,900 feet and Runway 10R/28 L was extended 1,100 feet to a total 5,000 feet and widened to 100 feet, up from the previous 75 feet. The taxiway system was extended, and navigational aids are in the process of being relocated to accommodate the longer runways. A new south building area was developed to accommodate additional aircraft hangars as demand warrants, airport officials add.

Funding for the improvements included nearly $10 million in federal aviation grants and approximately $7 million in MAC-generated funds.

Flying Cloud is among the busiest of the MAC’s six reliever airports, with more than 119,000 annual landings and takeoffs and 400 aircraft based at the facility. A 2005 study by Wilder Research estimates Flying Cloud generates $80 million in annual economic activity and supports 775 area jobs.

For more information: YouTube.com/user/MetAirCommission.

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