KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville area will see no disruption of flights at the McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS), even as a six-year, $108 million airport modernization program is embarked upon, the most extensive project in the airport’s history, according to airport officials.
Plans call for one of the airport’s two runways to be open at all times, allowing uninterrupted service. The project entails complete rehabilitation of both runways, an improvement that should last 30 to 40 years, as well as modifications to the configuration of taxiways. This will allow aircraft to get from the runway to the terminal more quickly, cutting down on fuel consumption as well as creating efficiencies. An LED taxiway edge lighting system will also be installed.
Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to begin late summer 2014 and includes a new Instrument Landing System, in addition to pavement maintenance work.
Phase 2 includes the complete rehabilitation of the northeast end of Runway 5L-23R and reconfiguring its associated taxiway and lighting systems.
Phase 3 includes the complete rehabilitation of the southwest end of Runway 5L-23R and reconfiguring its associated taxiway systems.
Phase 4 includes rehabilitating the runway closest to the terminal, and reconfiguring the remainder of the airport’s taxiway and lighting systems to increase efficiency.
Replacing the runways involves removing and reconstructing surfaces up to 36 inches deep. Along with lighting, marking and other infrastructure, durability and precision of the surface are of key importance, according to airport officials.
The project will be 95% funded through grants from the Transportation Equity Fund and the federally-funded Airport Improvements Program. No local taxpayer dollars will be used for project.
For more information: TYS.org