A major runway renovation project at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) will shut down the airport’s main runway through the summer and that means the noise patterns around the airport will shift – bringing new noise from above to some residents and meaning a little more peace and quiet for others.

Planes that would normally use the 10,000-foot main runway that’s closest to the terminal building will be shifted over to the airport’s secondary 9,000-foot runway until the renovation is completed.

On Monday, April 29, PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker stated in a press release that the change shouldn’t affect passengers in any noticeable way; however, he added that those who live near the airport along various approach and departure corridors may notice a difference.

“Some people will experience more noise this summer,” Baker said, adding that the airport is doing all it can to minimize any aggravation for those affected.

For one thing, the airport is trying to get the renovation over and done with as fast as possible.  In fact, the airport is having the work done in summer to avoid delays that are more likely with winter weather.

“The airport has expedited the construction to limit the closure period, but our options are limited,” Baker stated in the Monday press release.

According to airport officials, the renovation project is required by the Federal Aviation Administration.  It includes reconstruction of the runway pavement, renovation of the lighting and an upgrade of the airfield’s drainage system.

Baker told the Rhino Timesearlier in the year when the project was announced that, though runways look relatively simple at first glance, there’s a great deal involved in building or renovating one.

In this project, about 4,500 feet of the runway is being renovated.  Some work on the northeast section of the runway was conducted last summer.

Airport officials have been trying to get the runway job completed for a long time.  At the January meeting of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, the board voted unanimously to spend $21 million on the job.  At that meeting, Baker spoke on the history of the project and he noted that a previous request for bids on the major runway reconstruction job failed to pull in an acceptable offer.  At first, the airport got zero bidders – but, eventually, it got one bid, one that Baker called “incredibly high.”

Toward the end of 2018, the Airport Authority put the project out for bids again; this time, they got the winning $21-million bid from APAC-Atlantic Inc. of Greensboro.

Baker emphasized this week that the change in noise patterns will be temporary. The main runway will reopen in the fall.  At that time, Baker said, normal operations will resume.

“We have given the contractor four months to get the bulk of the work done,” Baker stated in the April 28 press release.  “We hope our neighbors understand that the renovation work must be done.  We have taken steps to limit any disruption.”