Category Archives: runway

Calgary Unveils Canada’s Longest Runway: 17L – 35R

by the Calgary Airport Authority

Ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the June 14 Run on the Runway at Calgary International Airport

Canada’s third-busiest and fastest-growing airport is about to open the country’s longest runway. At 14,000 feet long and 200 feet wide, the new runway will bring more people and add more destinations to the already extensive worldwide network enjoyed by the 14.3 million travelers who pass through YYC annually.

Planning for the runway dates back to the 1970s, and the mega-project features many of the latest technological advances, including:

  • CAT III (a) instrument landing system, aiding aircraft in low visibility operations
  • More than 5,000 LED lights incorporated into the runway and taxiways inset and edge lighting

Fun-runners touch down on Canada's longest runway in Calgary

Completing this massive and state-of-the-art airfield system project was a major milestone for the Authority and the city and province it serves.  To mark this milestone, the Authority reached out to the community to get their ideas on how it should be celebrated. The Authority first turned to social media with the YYC “30 Days, 300 Ideas” campaign, which encouraged the public to share their best ideas on how we should celebrate the completion of the runway. Participants shared far more than our initial goal of 300 ideas.  From concepts ranging from public hot air balloon rides to world record-breaking domino chains, the ideas were diverse and creative! In the end, the winning ideas were to host a run and open the runway to family-fun activities and displays, which meant quickly starting work on planning a full weekend of public activities themed the “YYC Run and Roam the Runway”.

YYC's Roam the Runway brought many Calgarians out to the new 17L-35R on June 15

On June 14, the Authority kicked off the weekend events with the “Run the Runway” fun run, with 1,400 participants racing (or walking and cruising in a state-of-the-art wheelchair) on a 5 K or 8.4 K run under a clear Calgary sky.  On June 15, more than 10,000 guests signed up to “Roam the Runway,“ where guests were treated to some of Calgary’s best food truck treats, a ton of kids events and activities and 36 of the world’s most famous aircraft.  From the historic Gypsy Moth to the futuristic 787 Dreamliner, this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone that attended. As expected, many photos were taken while tweets and social media updates were too numerous to count.

Young aviation enthusiasts perform a close inspection of 17L-35R

The first aircraft lands on 17L – 35R on Saturday, June 28, at 2:00 p.m. local time, and YYC as well as many aviation enthusiasts are looking forward to having the new runway officially in operation. Follow Calgary International Airport on Facebook and Twitter (@FlyYYC) to keep up to date with all the latest developments.

What About NextGen?

By Caroline O’Reilly
As the ACI-NA Annual Conference began to wrap up Wednesday morning, the problem of how the federal budget sequester continues to hamper necessary innovation came to the fore in the concurrent session, NextGen: Evolving Priorities in an Era of Resource Constraints.

“We’ve been through this rodeo once before,” said DFW’s James Crites, who explained that not only has NextGen been in process for many years, it also is the inheritor of previous similar initiatives.  As with the lessons learned from those earlier incarnations, Crites said that one of the more important realizations arising from NextGen’s saga is that its ultimate, successful implementation depends collaborative work among all interested parties.  The challenge also remains for these parties to communicate effectively the greater public benefits of NextGen to local communities.

With respect to practicality for air travelers, NextGen should help improve arrival and departure efficiency.  SFO’s John Bergener presented how that airport already is embracing new runway technologies, while Jeppesen’s Andrew McDowell provided the aircraft manufacturer perspective. FAA’s Dennis Roberts, meanwhile, rounded out the discussion with the government angle, and said that despite the sequester, he and fellow federal NextGen stakeholders remain committed to working collaboratively with private-sector parties.

Planning the Only Certainty to Bank On When It Comes to Climate Change

By Caroline O’Reilly
“If you don’t think your insurance company isn’t keeping on top of climate change, think again,” said David Carlson, vice president and director of sustainable development for Parsons.  “You need to think about the future and how to prepare for it.”

Parsons was speaking during the Tuesday afternoon concurrent session focusing on environmental issues, Come Hell or High Water—Adaptation Planning for an Uncertain Future, which put the spotlight on the potential impact that climate change could make on airports’ bottom lines.  In addition to the uncertainty wrought by passenger traffic fluctuations and overall economic trends, climate change is proving to be a particular influencing factor in its own right.

According to Parsons, airports need to be much more diligent about the lifespan of their facilities and how this affects insurance premiums and related costs.  “The guideposts of the past will not help you in the future,” he said.  “You need to start assessing the risks to exposure of your assets, and how those assets will be affected.”

Those airports that work in concert with key regional partners likely will be the most successful in the face of climate change, concluded Parsons.  “You should be looking to integrate your resources and strategies into the region you serve as a whole.”

Eno Transportation Foundation Report on NextGen

By Channon Hanna

This week, the Eno Transportation Foundation held an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center to release their report titled “NextGen:  Aligning Costs, Benefits and Political Leadership”.  The event was attended by many representatives of the aviation industry, as well as a number of former Department of Transportation Secretaries and FAA Administrators, all of whom expressed their support for expediting NextGen implementation.

The Eno report discusses NextGen benefits, including those to commercial aviation and general aviation.  It quantifies potential fuel savings, delay costs saving, and safety benefits.  The report also discusses the costs associated with NextGen implementation, including infrastructure costs such as those costs associated with installing ADS-B, communications equipment, and computer systems associated with En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM).  In addition to the infrastructure costs, the report details equipage costs for both commercial and general aviation and explains that if commercial and general aviation fleets do not equip their aircraft then the real benefits to NextGen will not be realized.

Finally, the report details the funding issues with NextGen and describes some potential options for both lawmakers and industry stakeholders to consider.  The report notes that NextGen is currently funded out of the airport and airway trust fund (AATF).  As airports know very well, the AATF has had to rely on larger contributions from the general fund in recent years than ever before, and while the current FAA Reauthorization bill has authorized NextGen funding at $2.7 billion for the next four years, NextGen is still subject to annual appropriations which causes instability in trying to move forward with funding NextGen infrastructure.   The report points out that there is no funding mechanism that is directly linked to NextGen, and explores several funding options that could be available for NextGen— pointing out that the industry must consider whether these options are politically feasible— and that any revenue source for NextGen must be practical in the current political environment.  The report explores the potential for NextGen to be funded by:  applying the ticket tax to baggage fees; increasing the jet fuel tax; increasing the ticket tax; a separate NextGen user fee; funding NextGen through general tax funds; and privatization of air traffic control.

A panel of representatives from various government and aviation stakeholders discussed the report’s findings as well as how the political landscape impacts NextGen funding and implementation.  The panel agreed that there needs to be a focus on how the entire system is funded and how the benefits of the system should be tied to the costs of the system.

As the panel discussion was winding down, former DOT Secretary Norm Mineta, who was there listening to the discussion, stood up and expressed his frustration with the current political leadership.  He stated that he believes there is no real political leadership on transportation issues.  He went on to say that “transportation has become a ho-hum subject” and that our politicians need to see that “other countries are not taking their foot off the pedal when it comes to infrastructure investment”.  He expressed his concern over the fact that the American public no longer understands the difference between spending for investment and spending for consumption.  He concluded by urging the aviation and transportation stakeholders to educate their Congressional delegations and their communities about the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure.  Secretary Mineta’s comments are especially fitting for the airport industry as we embark on our new financial policy campaign and grassroots campaign which began with an airport economic impact study and roll out of the website

Boeing and ACI-NA Host 787 Webinar




By Matt Griffin
On Tuesday, Boeing and ACI-NA hosted a webinar to update members on the general and technical specs of the 787.  Representatives from Boeing provided ACI-NA member airports and associates information on general characteristics of the 787 including parking and ground servicing of the aircraft, electrical and pre-conditioned air specifications, and wireless connectivity features and requirements.  Additionally, a quick update was provided on the development of other Boeing aircraft.


If you have any questions please contact Chris Oswald or Matt Griffin.