Reconstruction of JFK International Runway Under Way

The project will widen the 13L-31R runway by 33 percent and also install new lights, signs, cables, and navigational aids. Once this is completed, the runway will meet new safety standards and will incorporate the latest landing technology.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced it has begun a $355 million reconstruction of the 13L-31R runway and its taxiways at John F. Kennedy International Airport in order to improve safety and increase peak period capacity. By using concrete, the project will extend runway's useful life to 40 years, rather than 8-12 years with asphalt, according to the agency.

The work began during the first week of April 2019 and is scheduled to continue through November 2019. It is one of four runways at the airport and is now closed for reconstruction. The agency reported that the runway is approaching the end of its useful life.

PANYNJ awarded the contract for the runway construction in November 2018. The project will widen the runway by 33 percent and also install new lights, signs, cables, and navigational aids. According to the agency, once this is completed, the runway will meet new safety standards and will incorporate the latest landing technology.

"The Port Authority recognizes the need for infrastructure upgrades to improve the customer's flight experience and to better maintain and operate our facilities and assets," said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole. "This project is critical to achieve those goals, and we are working to ensure minimal impact while the reconstruction is under way."

"With this project, the Port Authority is moving to rebuild JFK's last outdated runway. This reconstruction effort will transform Runway 13L-31R from a 150-foot-wide asphalt runway to a 200-foot-wide concrete runway that will extend its life expectancy by a factor of four and improve the safety of flight operations," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. "The project also will advance and upgrade the antiquated electrical lighting system originally installed in 1993 to a more sophisticated and energy-efficient system. With collaboration from our airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration, the next eight months of continuous work on Runway 13L-31R will pay huge dividends in terms of operational safety and efficiency over the coming decades at JFK, as it represents the final phase of upgrading the four operational runways at the airport."

Runway 13L-31R is about 10,000 feet long and handles approximately one-third of arrivals at JFK, which has more than 61 million customers annually and more than 455,000 flights a year.

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