Tucson International Airport is planning for a new full-size run - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Tucson International Airport is planning for a new full-size runway

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The Tucson International Airport (TIA) is constantly making improvements. A major project may be coming soon. 

TIA needs a new runway because the current one does not meet with FAA standards. 

That could mean more commercial planes eventually, but right now TIA says it is similar to a freeway improvement.      

Through the Airfield Safety Enhancement Program, TIA might get a second full-size runway. 

"It's really an update to the airfield geometry and includes converting one of our general aviation runways, which is a smaller, shorter runway, and actually updating it to a full, commercial runway so it will be the same length and same width as our existing commercial runways," said Mike Smejkal, Vice President of Planning and Engineering at TIA. 

Smejkal says it is all about safety.

"Our airport was built primarily in the 1950's and 60's and just like your highway projects when it's time to upgrade them and widen the bridges," said Smejkal. "It's a similar sort of upgrade"

It will bring all the new standards in accordance with FAA criteria and it will be funding primarily through the FAA. 

Monday was the last day to get input from the public, so now they will go over it all and figure out when to move forward with construction. 

Construction will take more than a year. 

"When we shut down that general aviation runway to expand it and make it a full-length runway, there will be some coordination we'll have to do with air traffic control to accommodate those flights on the other runways," Smejkal said. 

This new project would help with runway misidentification. Smejkal says they have only had a few of those incidents and they want to make sure that it is corrected. 

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