FAA halts new runway plan at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, US

3 February 2016 (Last Updated February 3rd, 2016 18:30)

A plan for a new runway at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, US, has been halted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

runway

A plan for a new runway at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, US, has been halted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Although airport officials claim that having a new runway would cut down delays and enable safe air traffic on the ground, the FAA stated that the airport can explore other arrangements in order to address safety requirements.

This move comes despite several appeals from the airport officials.

According to airport officials, the 6,500ft runway would not only avoid delays, but would also boost safety.

The new runway would help ease traffic in case an emergency caused the airport's only major runway to shut down.

"We're taking this in small steps. We're just asking to complete the environmental impact study at this point."

It could also facilitate the smaller, private planes to fly in and out from the airport without disturbing the schedule of the commercial jets.

In a letter sent in October, the FAA stated that a new runway is in no way required at present or in the near future.

This was because a new runway construction in no way meets "purpose and need," reported Pilotonline.com.

The airport officials again sent a letter seeking permission, but the FAA again rejected the proposal.

The airport officials intend to replace the smaller crosswind runway, which does not meet a new requirement of having 1,000ft safety zones at the end of each runway, with a longer one.

The smaller runway is used by small airplanes.

According to airport officials, the other adjustments to meet safety measures are not feasible or practical.

The airport plans to pay $165m of the $300m that will be required to construct the runway.

Norfolk International Airport deputy executive director Robert Bowen was quoted by pilotonline.com as saying that they intend to make another case to the FAA.

"We're taking this in small steps. We're just asking to complete the environmental impact study at this point," Bowen added.


Image: FAA halts the 6,500ft runway project at the Norfolk International Airport in Virginia. Photo: courtesy of Norfolk Airport.