July 25, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Airport to Close August 12-15 for Runway Resurfacing

Springfield-Branson National Airport will close from 11 am, Friday, Aug. 12 through 11 am, Monday, Aug. 15, due to runway resurfacing. All commercial airlines serving Springfield have "zeroed out" their flight schedules, so it's impossible to book a flight to or from Springfield during this 72-hour period. Private airlines and general aviation customers have also been notified of the closure.

Only one of the airport's two runways is being resurfaced. That work began in June. Air traffic will continue without disruption until the resurfacing work reaches the intersection of the two runways. That's when the airport will close for 72-hours.

"It's not unusual for the airport to close a runway. It's done routinely for maintenance and construction with minimal impact on air travel. What is unusual is to have both runways closed at the same time. This last occurred in 1972 for similar work; however that closure was for nearly a month," said Shawn Schroeder, acting director of aviation. "We've explored every possible scenario for completing this resurfacing project without a closure; however this is simply the only viable option. We're working hard to minimize the number of travelers impacted and ask for patience and understanding as we take this necessary step in sustaining the safest, most up-to-date airport possible."

Crews will work around the clock to ensure that the airport is operational again by midday Monday as scheduled.

The airport has given the contractor major incentive for getting the intersection work done on time. For every hour that the airport remains closed, past the 72-hour period, the company will be assessed liquidated damages of $4,000 an hour. "In the unlikely event that the work extends past 11 am on Monday, August 15, the contractor will restore the intersection to safe condition for landing aircraft," says Schroeder. "After that, all intersection work will be done at night after the last airline arrival. In short, there are contingency plans in place to ensure that the airport will not experience further closures."

In early November, when work is complete, the runway will not need resurfacing for 25-30 years. The airport's second runway was resurfaced with concrete in 2003 and is unlikely to need resurfacing again for another 20 years.

During the closure the airport will perform general maintenance and employee training. Airport vendors will decide individually whether to remain open over the weekend.

For more information, contact: Kent Boyd, Public Information and Marketing, Springfield-Branson National Airport, 2300 North Airport Blvd. Suite 100, Springfield, Missouri 65802, 417.868.0500