The Charlotte County Airport Authority (CCAA) has reopened Runway 4-22 at Punta Gorda Airport following a year-long reconstruction and rehabilitation project.

Runway 4-22 is the preferred runway for commercial airlines using the Florida airport as it is the longest, at 7,193ft. It is also best orientated for prevailing winds and instrument approach procedures.

According to the CCAA, area residents may notice the commercial airline flight patterns have returned to 2021 levels, when Runway 4-22 was used more than 90% of the time for take-offs and landings. However, Runway 15-33, which was extended to 6,281ft in 2020 to handle commercial service, will continue to be used by commercial airlines at a lower frequency than in 2022.

“We want to thank the airport staff, contractors and agencies that all collaborated to make this happen during a challenging year,” said CCAA chair Robert D Hancik. “This rehabilitation project is integral to efficient air transportation and anticipated economic development needs for the decades ahead.”

In an effort to help local residents understand the routes of airliners taking off and landing on each runway, CCAA has worked with engineering consultant AECOM to develop a set of flight corridor maps depicting the FAA-approved routes that pilots most often take.  The flight corridor maps were developed using data points from actual take-offs in landings during the two busiest months of 2021, December and March, when both Runway 15-33 and Runway 4-22 were open.  Residents can view the maps online.

Runway 4-22 was constructed in the 1940s and has endured decades of take-offs and landings, so the centre portion of the runway was removed and reconstructed along its entire length.  The remaining portion of the runway was milled and resurfaced. Both portions of the runway were paved with asphalt, grooved and painted with runway markings. New blast pads were also constructed at each end of the runway, and new energy-efficient lighting was installed.

The $15m project was designed by Kimley-Horn and completed by Wright Construction Group. The runway project was entirely funded by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.

Image: Charlotte County Airport Authority