Thought to be the single largest project in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Aviation history, the recently completed $52 million runway project at Collin County Regional Airport (KTKI) in McKinney, Texas, incorporates just about every aspect of modern airport development.
The project, according to Airport Director, Kenneth Wiegand, has led to the transformation of the entire airport and has had an incredible effect on enhancing "un-sexy airport things" like perimeter management and control (security), wildlife and storm water management, a new contract air traffic control tower, instrument approaches and the airport’s overall utility.
"Our utility is vastly improved because we now have a new runway and a former runway that is now the parallel taxiway," said Wiegand. "The parallel taxiway can be used as a back-up runway under certain conditions. For example, no more 2-hour runway closures due to a gear-up landing. We’re excited about what the future might bring with a non-standard runway."
Like so many other general aviation airports today, Wiegand said their continuing challenge is finding a way to increase revenue to balance their operating budget and pay for the sponsor’s share of federal and state capital programs. "We’ve already reduced expenses to the point of ridiculousness," said Wiegand. "This is a huge challenge that must be attacked head on."
The runway (18/36), is 7,002 x 150 feet with a 450,000-pound weight-bearing capacity and covers approximately 30.5 acres. Project crews laid 25 miles of electrical wire for 202 runway and taxiway lights, signs and the airport’s instrument landing system.
Wiegand said the project was $5 million under budget and was completed 30 days earlier than scheduled. "It took four prime contractors plus more than 20 first-tier sub-contractors and a host of secondary sub-contractors to complete the work," said Wiegand.
Collin County Regional Airport sits 32 nm north of Dallas.