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$48.2M capital improvement plan outlined for Tulsa International Airport
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$48.2M capital improvement plan outlined for Tulsa International Airport

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An aerial photo shows Tulsa International Airport in 2015. The Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust on Thursday accepted drafts of a capital improvement plan for the airport and a $4.29 million, five-year plan for R.L. Jones Jr. Riverside Airport.

New snow-removal equipment is among the items in the Tulsa International Airport's five-year, $48.2 million capital improvement plan (CIP).

The Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT) on Thursday accepted drafts of that CIP and a $4.29 million, five-year CIP for R.L. Jones Jr. Riverside Airport. Trustees are expected to OK the plans at their December meeting.

A total of 24 projects are on the CIP for Tulsa International Airport (TUL) for fiscal years 2022-26. One of the first-year projects is replacing TUL's snow-removal equipment, which currently dates from 1992-2005, said Frank Relja, TAIT's director of engineering and planning.

The cost for replacing the machinery is $1.1 million, 90% of which will be federally funded.

"Right now we're clearing the runway with dump trucks with plows mounted to the front and pulling a broom behind" Relja said Thursday at the TAIT virtual meeting. "It worked for a long time, but companies have come out with more efficient, faster pieces of equipment …"

TUL upgrades included in 2022 fiscal year are the repair of terminal access roads ($2.4 million), escalator replacement ($800,000) and a $1.5 million stair rehabilitation of the air traffic control tower.

Second-year improvements include an $11 million upgrade of runway 18R/36L and the Engineered Material Arresting System, as well as a $1.3 million roof replacement of the air traffic control tower.

EMAS technology stops aircraft from overrunning airport runways.

Of the $48.2 million in planned improvements at TUL, TAIT is funding just more than $18 million. The bulk of the rest ($28.512 million) will come from entitlement and discretionary funds from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

At Jones Riverside Airport, 2022 fiscal year upgrades include a $2.39 million rehabilitation of the connector taxiways between runway 1L-19R and taxiway Alpha. The last major rehabs on these taxiways was completed in the late 1990s.

The other major, first-year improvement is the $1.47 million widening of runway 13/31.


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Dedication of Schwab Hall the main lobby of the Tulsa International Airport. Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

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