TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A construction project is underway at the Tuscaloosa National Airport to improve the runway.
Tuscaloosa City Councilman Kip Typer says he is hoping the improvements will help attract commercial airline services to the city.
“It’s one step at a time and I know there are many naysayers about the airline industry right now and this is not going to happen. But you know it could very well happen, but it’s not going to unless we take these first steps with improvements to the terminal and which we’ve done as well as improvements to the lighting and now the runway,” Tyner said.
Runway improvements will allow the airport to accommodate the current air traffic and cargo, as well as potential future commercial air service. It was constructed over 50 years ago and the primary runway was last repaved in 1995 and repaired in 2009.
“First of all, we can’t do it without the runway extensions and runway improvements and for the first time I am hearing most people in Tuscaloosa want to see some kind of commercial service return to the airport,” Tyner said.
This project will go beyond repaving and rebuild the entire structure of the runway, removing the existing asphalt, creating a soil-cement base and placing new asphalt surface material. In addition, runway end identifier lights will be installed.
Construction on the runway began on Monday and is expected to be complete by the fall of this year.