Albany, NY (July 14, 2004) - - - The Albany International Airport has began construction of a 1,300 foot long extension to the Airport’s primary runway. The total cost of the runway project is $14 million of which 95% is being provided through federal grants obtained with the assistance of Congressman Michael McNulty and Congressman John Sweeney. The Airport and New York State will each contribute 2½%.
"The runway extension will enable the airport to match the requirements of our existing and future aircraft fleet mix while providing an added margin of safety for our passengers," said Rev. Michael A. Farano, Chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority. "The extension will also enable our airlines to operate at optimal efficiency by eliminating occasional payload and weight penalties that could restrict take-off weights."
"The Albany International Airport is crucially important to our economic development efforts in the Capital Region.," said Congressman Michael McNulty. "I'm pleased that this federal funding will enable the Airport and its operations to continue to grow, while maintaining its commitment to safety," the congressman added.
"Capacity and safety are always top concerns for a growing airport such as Albany," said U.S. Rep. John Sweeney. "Construction of this runway extension helps the airport achieve both goals. I'm glad we were successful in securing funding for this project and helping the airport meet its needs and help grow the economy of the Capital Region."
"A world class airport facility is a must in today's competitive economic development market," said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin. "We must continue to make improvements to the airport in order to maintain a modern facility which will continue to serve as an invaluable tool for economic development in the Capital Region."
The two-year project will include extending the runway 1,300 feet to the north. Before the runway can be paved, more than 300,000 cubic yards of dirt, nearly half of which has been stored on Airport property, will be used to raise the level of a large ravine. The runway project will also include the construction of a new perimeter road that will allow for a greater degree of airport security, a new dual jet aircraft holding apron, additional navigation equipment and aeronautical lighting.
The runway will be constructed using several layers of compacted earth, special grade stone and several layers of asphalt. The runway itself will be over three feet deep and capable of supporting all commercial passenger aircraft now in operation.
The project was designed by Clough, Harbour & Associates. The first phase of the project is being built by the James H. Malloy Company of Albany.
In 2003, construction was completed on a 1,200 foot extension to the Airport’s east-west runway. Runway-28 had been "short" and occasionally required commercial aircraft using the runway to take load penalties in the form of fewer passengers, less fuel or less cargo in order to meet restrictions imposed by the runway’s length.