Pierre Airport Taxiway Project Underway
A nearly $4 million investment is underway at Pierre Regional Airport. The municipal airport is reconstructing its taxiways to meet new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.
“FAA now requires that taxiways enter runways at a 90-degree angle,” said John Childs, City Engineer. “That’s requiring us to move a lot of dirt –about 27,000 cubic yards.”
The first phase of the project is the realignment of Taxiway B. That work is already in progress and expected to be complete in early June.
According to Childs, disruption of commercial traffic is generally the biggest concern during taxiway reconstruction. To the City’s benefit, it already has two taxiways. That means Taxiway A will handle the aircraft traffic while Taxiway B is under construction, and vice-versa.
Once Taxiway B can handle commercial traffic, it’s Taxiway A’s turn.
If all goes as scheduled, the Taxiway A work will be completely done by the beginning of July and all additional transitions between the runways, taxiways, and exterior boarding area will be complete by the end of the summer. Also, by the end of the summer, both runways will be repainted.
“This is a large and long-term infrastructure investment for Pierre,” said Mayor Steve Harding. “The good news is, the traveling population should see little disruption, the taxiways shouldn’t require any major maintenance for years to come, and the federal government is picking up most of the cost.”
The project impacts more than 4,500 square feet of the airfield. A federal grant is paying for 90% of the $3.9 million project. The remainder of the project cost is split between the State of South Dakota and the City of Pierre.