FAA issues deadline for repairs to Tuscaloosa Airport runway - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

FAA issues deadline for repairs to Tuscaloosa Airport runway

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

Tuscaloosa city and airport officials are now facing a deadline to repair a secondary runaway at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.

Runway 11-29 is literally cracking up at its foundation.  The stripes are fading and the pavement is in not in any condition to painted over.  However, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the city to re stripe the runway.

Tera Tubbs, who oversees the city's department of Transportation, including the airport says, "The pavement is in condition that if we went out there to water blast to the pavement to stripe we'd basically tear up the pavement."

 It's a big deal for the city because the runway helps the city maintain certification to handle commercial flights.  Without the runway,  there would likely be no commercial flight service in the city.   "It just lets pilots know that we're a step up in a airport. We have certain safety features. We have firefighting capabilities out there. Our facilities are better. So, we want to keep that certification."

The city estimates it will cost more than a million dollars to repave the runway and re stripe it.  So, they've come up with some creative ways to pay for it.  A part of the funding will come from the sale of city owned property in Vance.  Also, "The city is going to request a bond issue. They're going to New York for that. Of that bond issue, 600-thousand dollars will go toward that project. And they're looking at refinancing some current bonds."

However it is funded, time is of the essence.  The FAA has given the city until December 31st.  Tubbs explained,"The condition of our long runway is in really good condition right now. Over the last five years we've spent a lot of money toward that runway and taxiways...so it's just time. While we've been doing that for the long runway -- this short runway is starting to deteriorate."

 We're told once the runway is re paved and striped again, its name name and coordinates will change from 11-29 to 12-30 because of a slight shift in the earth.

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