(WSVN) - The summer travel season is here, but if you’re flying out of one South Florida airport, work on the ground could leave your departure time up in the air. Brian Entin has this special assignment report: Runway Delay.
It is the fastest-growing airport in the country.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International is busy with flights from around the world, and it’s also now a massive construction site.
Dump trucks are hauling asphalt 24 hours a day to replace the aging north runway.
Brian Entin: “How big of a project is this?”
Greg Meyer, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: “This is one of the largest projects the airport has undertaken in quite some time.”
While the north runway is being rebuilt, airlines are relying on the newer south runway.
It’s the only other runway at the airport, which means it is packed with planes during peak times, and when summer storms roll through, one runway is a recipe for delays.
Greg Meyer: “When we try to recover with one runway, it’s much more timely. It takes longer to launch all the planes to allow the planes that need to come back in to land on the south runway.”
Resurfacing the 9,000 foot runway is a massive project. It will likely take three months and cost about $90 million.
A lot of time and money and a lot of frustration for neighbors who live near the now constantly busy south runway.
April Alonso, lives near airport: “It’s just constant. It’s literally a 24-hour thing. Again, it’s just — and here comes another one!”
Brian Entin: “Every two minutes?”
April Alonso: “Every two minutes.”
April Alonso lives under the flight path.
Before the north runway was shutdown for rehab, the airport agreed to limit the flights that fly over April’s house.
But that has all changed because of the construction.
The jets seem to never stop — even in the middle of the night.
Brian Entin: “Are you sleep deprived?”
April Alonso: “Definitely. And crazy.”
Brian Entin: “It makes you cranky?”
April Alonso: “Absolutely.”
April and her family wear ear plugs when they’re home.
She has called the airport, but they say there is nothing they can do.
Greg Meyer: “There are some people who are very upset, clearly, but for the most part, people are understanding, and they realize that there is an end to this.”
The runway resurfacing project should be finished sometime in September.
Then, both runways will be back open — cutting down on flight delays for flyers and noise for neighbors.
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