October has turned out to be a challenging one for pilots in western Washington.
Three airports within 20 miles of each other were systematically closed for runway rehabilitation.
On Oct. 9, Tacoma Narrows Airport (KTIW), south of Seattle, was closed so that its runway could be repainted. The runway, which measures 5,002 feet, is aligned 17/35. Approximately 150 aircraft are based at the airport, which is used extensively for flight training. Pilots could leave their airplanes where they were and stay on the ground or had the option of repositioning to nearby airports for the day. Temporary parking was hard to come by, however, because Tacoma pilots were not the only ones facing an inconvenience.
The owners of the 200 or so aircraft based at Bremerton Municipal Airport (PWT), 19 miles west of Seattle, faced the same dilemma as their Tacoma counterparts when the airport closed on Oct. 10 so that runway 01/19 could be repainted. The runway at Bremerton measures 6,000 feet.
Today and tomorrow (Oct. 12-13), pilots at Pierce County Airport/Thun Field in Puyallup, Wash., 20 miles south of Seattle, have the choice of staying on the ground for two days or relocating their aircraft because of a runway closure.
The airport is getting a WAAS approach and the runway had to be closed so that survey work could be done. The airport will have to remove a stand of trees on the north end of the runway to meet obstruction clearances. In addition, the runway is being widened from 60 to 75 feet. The runway is aligned 34/16 and measures 3,650 feet.
All the closures were NOTAM’d. Airport officials at Thun Field took the extra precaution of placing large signs at the departure end of the runway, as well as posting notices in local businesses weeks ahead of the work.
For more information: WSDOT.wa.gov/aviation.