The Arlington Municipal Airport will make millions more in improvements next year, including
a 4900-foot taxiway and connector that will serve as a temporary runway.
According to airport officials, the new taxiway's dimensions will accommodate 70-80 percent of the different types of aircraft that land at the airport.
"Our goal is to land as much as possible in case the primary runway is closed," said Assistant Airport Manager, Karen Vanwinkle.
Currently, the airport only has one runway. The added taxiway would allow the airport services business to continue as normal when the main runway closes.
Among the improvements, the airport will replace all runway and taxiway signs, improve the drainage system, add lighting equipment, and relocate Taxiway "B" to the north side of the airport.
"The construction of the project is designed to provide as minimal an impact as possible on airport operations," Vanwinkle said, one of the reasons why the construction will take place at night.
These $7.8 million changes come after a $5.1 million terminal built last year. The majority of the $7.8 million needed for this new project will come from a federal grant while $1.4 million will come from the city.
But some of the business owners around the airport seem to be more concerned about spending city money to complete the project.
"Do an addition just because of the federal government?" President of RVR Aviation, Ron Whitehead questioned. "The city still has to pay."
Airport officials, however, believe that the changes coming to the airport are necessary to reflect future business partnerships that can be fostered because of the added space. Eighty percent of the available land on the east side has already been developed.
By providing a new taxiway, another 100 acres of suitable land can be developed on the western side, which they argue, would equip the Arlington Municipal Airport to better handle corporate clients who fly into the Metroplex.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late February and conclude in early 2013.