$18M in upgrades planned for Charlottetown Airport runway this summer

Refurbishing Charlottetown Airport's main runway is about to begin — at $18 million, it's the largest project the airport has ever undertaken.

'It's a significant project'

Last year, the Charlottetown airport added more than 600 metres to the smaller of its two runways to allow repair work to be done to the main runway this year. (Charlottetown Airport Authority)

Refurbishing Charlottetown Airport's main runway is about to begin — at $18 million, it's the largest project the airport has ever undertaken. 

The last time work was done on the runway was about 20 years ago, and it's been 30 years since major reconstruction was done.

Officials expect it will take about six months to complete. During that time the secondary runway, which was extended over the last two years at a cost of $7 million, will be used for take off and landing. 

"It's a significant financial investment for the airport and significant economic impact I think across P.E.I.," said Airport Authority CEO Doug Newson. "This runway is at the end of its life cycle." 

The work should not cause any flight delays, he said.

More than a hundred people will be working on the project.

Locals have been told

"It's quite a complex project from an operational perspective in the sense that we do have to keep part of it [the main runway] open for aircraft to get to the other runway," he said.

The airport is advertising the runway renovation plan in the local newspaper to officially notify the public about the changes, Newson said. Officials have also dropped notices in mailboxes of nearby residents and launched a new website, flypeirunway.com, where people can get more information and receive updates on the project. The website outlines measures the airport plans to take to minimize road closures, dust and noise. 

The airport has applied for funding from Transport Canada's National Trade Corridors Fund to subsidize the cost, but Newson said the authority has a financing plan if that doesn't happen. 

Newson also said the airport does not plan to raise passenger fees right now, but that could change. 

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With files from Laura Chapin