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Runway improvements coming to Las Vegas airport, thanks to grant

Updated May 25, 2023 - 2:23 pm

Four taxiways will be reconfigured, two runways will be shifted and runway lights that alert pilots that it’s safe to enter will be added at Harry Reid International Airport, thanks to a $13.4 million Federal Aviation Administration grant.

Reid will get the third-highest grant amount among 12 airports that are part of a $100 million FAA safety initiative. The agency’s Runway Incursion Mitigation Program was developed to identify airports that have risk factors that might contribute to runway incursions.

“Some airfields have complex layouts that can create confusion for pilots and other airport users,” FAA Associate Administrator Shannetta Griffin said in a release. “This funding will reconfigure complex taxiway and runway intersections to help prevent incursions and enhance the safety of the national airspace system.”

At Reid, a pair of parallel runways cross another set of parallel runways.

The work at Reid will reconfigure four taxiways to meet safety standards and shift two runways, 8L/26R — the airport’s longest runway and the northernmost of two parallel east-west runways — and 1L/19R, the westernmost of two parallel north-south runways.

Reid spokesman Joe Rajchel said Thursday that work has already begun on the projects and crews are trying to complete all work before the additional air traffic generated from the hosting of November’s Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula One race and February’s Super Bowl LVIII begins.

Rajchel said the work is being done concurrently and isn’t affecting airport operations.

Grant proceeds also will be used to install runway status and guard lights, which alert pilots and others if it is not safe to enter the runway. The in-pavement lights alert pilots that entering a runway is unsafe due to other traffic on or approaching the runway.

In March, the FAA conducted a safety summit to address runway incursion incidents and brought together airlines, flight and ground crews and air traffic controllers to find causes and solutions to the incidents. Following the summit, in April, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg went on a safety tour of airports that had already received federal funding to improve airfield safety.

Other airports due to receive grant assistance announced Monday are in Miami, and Pensacola, Florida; San Diego, and San Jose, California; Tucson, and Prescott, Arizona; Springfield, Illinois; Bellingham, Washington; Waverly, Iowa; East Farmingdale, New York; and Kansas City, Kansas.

Funding for the grant program came from several sources, including the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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