Airport should re-open east runway later this month - - The News for South Mississippi

Airport should re-open east runway later this month

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

An 8-thousand-500-foot runway at the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport has been closed for repair almost two years now, but that should change by the end of May.

The east runway was supposed to have been completed in 2011, but the airport authority ran into trouble with the contractor about the asphalt and whether it would hold up to the Yazoo clay in the area.  

It took some legal action to finally get the $12 million project completed.  

Dirk Vanderleest, Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson Airport Authority is thrilled to get the east runway back in operation, giving Jackson an instrument landing system in both directions.

"Our target date now is the end of the month," said Vanderleest. "We have still got some parts on order that will be here next week. And then we have got to also do some additional testing of our lights and then the final check list item is the FAA runway check, lights system, ils."

For the past two years, Jackson has only had an instrument runway in one  direction.  Vanderleest said the city had been lucky in that time.

"We only had one time I believe, Southwest had to divert to New Orleans, because of the low ceiling, but hopefully by the end of this month we should be 100 per cent up and we will have two parallel runways operating if will be good for air traffic," said Vanderleest. "Then we can handle more traffic coming in and out of Jackson."

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