Three-Year Runway Upgrades Will Cause Flight Delays At LAX

(FOX 11 / CNS) Beginning today, travelers at Los Angeles International Airport may have to deal with some flight delays thanks to a three-year construction project that will require rolling closures of the airport's runways.

RELATED: LAX-Bound Drivers Will Have Road Construction Delays...Again

The project will make upgrades to the Runway Safety Areas at the ends of the airport's runways, according to Los Angeles World Airports. The safety areas provide a buffer zone in case a plane overshoots or veers off a runway while taking off or landing.

The improvements to the safety areas are being mandated by the federal government, according to LAWA.

At LAX, improvements will be made on the two north airfield runways and Runway 7L-25R on the south airfield. Only minor improvements are needed on Runway 7R-25L on the south airfield, LAWA officials said.

According to LAWA, the work will require phased runway closures, meaning passengers could experience delays or increased wait times aboard aircraft -- similar to those experienced during bad weather.

The construction work is expected to continue through June 2018. The runway safety work has already been completed at LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, according to LAWA.

From Christine O' Donnell:

Delays at LAX due to runway construction start today

"Things are happening at LAX," yells a construction guy, smiling as he walks by a FOX 11 News truck. His words are the slogan at Los Angeles International Airport these days.

Hard hats and bright colored vests have become part of the landscape as the airport makes improvements.

For several years the airport has been modernizing the terminals and improving security check points, but now a new federally government mandated construction project could mean delays for passengers.

Mark Vicelja is a Senior Airport Engineer working on the project.

"we could expect delays especially during peak times, potentially when we're down to three runways," Vicelja said.

The project means upgrades to Runway Safety Areas at each end of the airport.

Crews are creating a buffer zone in case a plane overshoots or veers off a runway before taking off or landing.

There are two airfield runways affected in the north and two to the south. The runways will close in phases meaning passengers can experience delays while they're onboard the plane waiting to take off.

"The new standards require a full thousand foot length of runway or space after the end of the runway and a whole 500 foot width. So we have to grade some areas," Vicelja said.

Travelers say if it's about their safety, they don't mind.

I think it's a good idea because there's been a lot of weird accident of planes on runways," Caroline Kinney said.

The construction work is expected to continue through June of 2018.



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