Reagan National Airport is to oversee a project to resurface and rehabilitate asphalt and base materials along its two primary runways during overnight hours.  

Crews have begun preliminary pavement work on the airfield in preparation for nightly work that will begin in May along the airport’s main runway. The work will be carried out over the next two years, the Virginia airport said.

Closures associated with the project have been carefully planned and coordinated with airlines to minimise impacts on passengers. Despite these adjustments, there is a risk that late-night or early morning flights to Reagan National could be cancelled or diverted if they are delayed at their originating airport or en route. On-time flights are not expected to be affected. 

“This runway rehabilitation project is significant and necessary for the long-term safety and reliability of runways that serve millions of travellers each year,” said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority vice president and airport manager Paul Malandrino. “Our team at Reagan National has been working to minimise impacts and get the job done without unnecessary inconvenience to travellers.” 

The pavement project will focus on runways 1/19 and 15/33, which handle most of the airport’s commercial flights. In addition, replacing base materials 6 to 8in deep will improve the long-term durability of both runways.  

Project managers have worked with airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration to assure adequate time for nightly construction. The work will take place Monday to Friday, weather permitting. Airline flight schedules have been modified in some cases to avoid conflicts with runway closure times. Runways will remain available to flights that are operating outside the construction hours. During most of the construction period, only one runway will be closed at a time.  

Under the construction plan, new pavement will be in place and ready for use in time for the next morning’s scheduled flights. Construction work will include replacing up to 8in of base asphalt material on a portion of the runway and replacing all runway lighting with more energy-efficient LED systems. 

Image: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority