A $10 million airfield construction project has taken off at the Quad Cities International Airport (QCIA), the airport announced Wednesday, April 27.
The project, which is being funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is expected to be done in November.
The project centers on shortening the general aviation runway by 1,500 feet and creating a new parallel taxiway to the airport’s primary 10,000-foot commercial runway.
“This project has been a long time coming – we only know of one other commercial airport in the U.S. that has a similar configuration,” Benjamin Leischner, the Quad Cities International Airport’s executive director, said in a news release. “These changes will benefit both commercial and general aviation traffic considerably. The shorter runway will be closest to the general aviation hangars creating a campus that is separate from commercial traffic, and commercial aircraft will have a much quicker route to and from the primary runway.”
Once completed, the shortened general aviation runway will not impact operations for the majority of aircraft currently using it, airport officials said.
Runway 5/23, which is 5,000 feet long, will be shortened to 3,500 feet, which is more than adequate, the release said. Aircraft needing a longer runway will be able to use one of the airport’s commercial runways – Runway 13/31, which is 7,000 feet long, or Runway 9/27, which is 10,000 feet long.
The Quad Cities International Airport is one of only a handful of U.S. airports which still have more than two intersecting runways. While safety is a primary concern of such a configuration, it also creates operational inefficiency whereby commercial flights have a longer taxi to reach the primary runway.
General aviation pilots must also contend with commercial air traffic, airport officials said.
Valley Construction, based out of Rock Island, is the lead contractor. On-site jobs will total anywhere from a crew of eight up to 30 or more workers during busier construction phases.
There are numerous phases of the project, with Phase 1 underway through early May. Intermittent runway closures will occur, but the airport is working closely with airlines to prevent any disruption to normal operations.