A planned runway repair project at Van Nuys Airport is in the hands of competing sets of engineers who are working out the best option to fix the runway with the minimum amount of disruption to air operations.
The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners directed engineers with Los Angeles World Airports to meet with engineers hired by tenants at the Valley airfield to discuss the project.
The airport commissioners will receive a report on that meeting at their April meeting, said Van Nuys Airport General Manager Jess Romo.
The repair project on the airport’s main runway has created disagreement between LAWA and the Van Nuys Airport Association, the group representing the major tenants that charter and maintain aircraft and sell fuel.
LAWA staff has recommended the reconstruction of the 50-foot wide center, or keel, section of the main runway that will require a two- to four-week closure. The shoulders of the 8,000-foot runway would receive an asphalt overlay.
The tenant’s association contends that a complete asphalt overlay of the entire runway would be less expensive and less disruptive to airport operations. Attempts to reach a representative of the association were not successful.
A shorter runway, now used primarily by propeller aircraft, would be available for some jet traffic during the closure of the main runway.
At their meeting, the engineering teams will compare the results of testing the strength of the underlying material of the runway, Romo said.
Pavement engineering firm Labelle Marvin and construction management services firm Krause-Manning will represent the airport tenants at the meeting.
“They believe there are alternative ways of analyzing the data that indicates there may be options other than what we have put out there to complete the repairs on the runway,” Romo said.
On March 19, the airport commissioners approved a $1.5 million contract with HNTB Inc. to design the runway project.
The reconstruction will be paid for with a $25 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, with a state grant and LAWA contributing to the balance.