The Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority unanimously agreed to preliminary plans to do construction on the Grand Forks International Airport runway intersection between Taxiway A and Taxiway B in a special meeting and work session.
The construction is now scheduled to take 11 and a half days, with one closure scheduled from Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, to Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.
One of the key considerations for the board was the Delta Air Lines requirement that it receive 331 days of advanced notice beforehand. According to the company, this is so no flights are available to the public during that time.
Allegiant Air was openly flexible with the Grand Forks International Airport, stating late August and early September is historically slower period for its market, providing more of an incentive to move forward with the project next fall.
Another consideration for the board was the safety and cost of multiple closure periods. Reopening a runway after construction means there will be extensive inspections before reopening, and one work period for a prospective contractor will reduce the cost, as well as confusion for users as to whether runways are open or closed at any given time.
Completing the work by Sept. 2 also allows for the construction to hopefully take place during a period favorable weather. However, Ryan Riesinger, executive director of the Grand Forks International Airport, said there is no way to plan for possible rain.
“The short answer to that, I would say, is no,” Riesinger said. “That’s part of the challenge, but we do allow for some weather in that schedule. We could get a week’s worth of rain. Unfortunately, at that point in time, if you’re really unfortunately looking at a situation where you have to plan another closure… You deal with weather as best you can, but if we get a weather system that comes in, stalls out and we get 10 inches of rain, then unfortunately that’s going to be a problem.”