Long and dry summer days mean construction work on Portland International Airport’s south runway continues apace. The reconstruction project is now in its final phase, bringing some temporary flight pattern changes through early October.
Increased flights over some airport neighborhoods are expected during this construction phase, similar to flight activities during the first phase of the construction this spring and early summer. Flight changes are occurring because many aircraft that would normally use the south runway will now temporarily use the north or crosswind runways. As we saw earlier this year, an increased use of the crosswind runway increases the number of flights over neighborhoods south of the airport. The north runway alone cannot accommodate all PDX flights during the south runway closure.
The work is the final stretch of a three-year runway rehabilitation program that will wrap up in October. The project is completely reconstructing the airport’s south runway, worn by years of aircraft use. In 2009, the Port rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet. The longer north runway is capable of accommodating the larger aircraft departures while the south runway is closed for reconstruction, keeping the airport fully operational.
Some photos of the south runway work in progress: