When it comes to airport runways, longer is better.
In recent years, airports around the country and in other parts of the world have been extending their runways.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) received approval this year to create a longer runway.
Some advantages of doing so are being able to handle larger planes and those with more cargo or people on board, and planes carrying more fuel – which allows for longer non-stop flights.
Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) Executive Director Kevin Baker said that PTIA has plans to extend a runway as well. However, he added, it’s a very involved project that will be a long time coming.
For RDU, the Federal Aviation Administration determined that the new runway can be built at 10,639 feet – longer than the current 10,000 foot runway.
The head of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority stated earlier this year that adding the 600 feet of takeoff distance to RDU’s future runway will allow existing airlines to carry more passengers and cargo.
“It will also,” the head of the authority added, “provide greater economic opportunities for Triangle-area businesses and communities.”
Baker said that, at PTIA, longer runways are also an objective.
“Our Master Plan contemplates extensions to all of the runways actually,” Baker said. “But, realistically, our primary runway – Runway 5R/23L – would be the most likely to be extended.”
Baker said there’s a whole lot more to extending a runway than just laying down pavement and calling it a day. Airport runways are much more complicated than they appear. They include complex electronics and lighting systems, involve highly specific surface considerations and require a design that allows rainwater to roll off efficiently and allows the runway to remain useable under other weather conditions as well.
Baker said the exact cost of extending runways at PTIA isn’t known, but it will certainly cost “tens of millions of dollars.”
According to Baker, runway length requirements are determined by aircraft characteristics and “stage length” – the length of a flight from take-off to landing in a single leg.
Longer flights equal more fuel, which equals heavier planes – which may mean a need for a longer runway.
“Each airplane has different requirements for takeoff and landing length,” Baker said.
He added, “Fully loaded aircraft need more runway length, as they are heavier and need to generate extra lift. More lightly loaded aircraft need less. Takeoff weight and stage length – how far the aircraft will fly – are therefore closely related, because a longer stage length means more fuel, and fuel is heavy.”
Baker also explained why PTIA’s Master Plan calls for longer runways.
“While our 10,000- and 9,000-foot runways can handle any aircraft flying, if certain aircraft wanted to operate here at long stage lengths – like GSO to China or Japan, etc. – then longer length may be required,” Baker said.
In the case of RDU, the FAA cited information provided by Alaska Airlines in making its decision. The longer runway was needed to accommodate takeoff and landings for Alaska Airlines fleet of Boeing aircraft on the way to the other side of the country. It means that airline and other airlines serving the airport will be able to carry more passengers, cargo and fuel to destinations.
Maybe they can re-route Bryan Boulevard again, adding another I-73 switchback.
With zillions of people having their flights cancelled or delayed this year, ruining many a vacation or visit; why would anyone want to subject themselves to the cattle-car industry? The original cause of all this was the forced lock-downs. Airlines laid off, retired, or marginalized every employee. It will take industry years to unravel all this mess, if they do at all.
So if we want to go somewhere, we will drive. take a train…..or not go. If you want to suffer dehumanization, have at it.
One reason to upgrade GSO is because of big new businesses coming nearby in Rockingham, Randolph, and Chatham Counties – not Guilford. Burlington, I read, is the fastest growing city in NC.
Kevin- why does GSO need to lengthen the existing runway’s 5/23? Is GSO trying to keep up with RDU?
10,000’ is plenty of runway for ANY size aircraft.
PTI does need to resurface the 5/23 runway’s. Could that money to extend the runway’s be used better to attract more business for our community and increase employee salaries?
What is international about Piedmont International Airport?
Nothing. It’s a name. They only had one flight to Canada years ago.
Cheap flights to Spain
When is your flight
The same thing that’s International about the downtown money pit museum
Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI) is considered an international airport because we have customs service and border patrol, which allows us to accept international flights on the passenger side and on the cargo side. While there may be no regularly scheduled passenger service outside the United States, the airport had about 350 international flights last year. Some of these were international passenger flights diverted to our airport, as well as charters, cargo flights and private jets that use our airport.
Why does PTIA need more runway? There’s no reason to fly here. There’s no corporate businesses here only apartment complexes. No need to come. People that travel, go to CLT or RDU. Also, its usually several hundred dollars more to fly out of here. No GSO missed the boat years ago.
You all are missing the point – GSO is more focused on CARGO transport, not people. They don’t care if we have to go to RDU or CLT to catch a flight, they want to rule the cargo/freight market in the area. Pay attention.
Lakeshia, they got to claim “international” when airlines leaving from GSO partnered with flights or airlines at other airports that flew internationally. No direct international flight leaves from GSO.
If you are correct about cargo transport, why did the above article mention the weight of passenger flights?
The point here is PTIA just likes to spend money. They don’t need more runway, they need for some airplanes to land and take off from here. Oh, they expertise has become excavation and dirt moving. Just drive out that was and look around. They move dirt from one side of the airport to the other. The contractor who has the excavation work there must love PTIA.
extend the ‘runway’ long enough & u get . . . a road.