Homer Airport runway rehabilitation project scheduled to begin April 1

The Alaska Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration in partnership with Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP), an Anchorage-based company, will begin construction on the Homer Airport starting April 1.

The project is expected to be completed by Oct. 31.

A public meeting was held March 10 at the Homer City Council chambers to provide updated information on the Homer Airport Improvement Project and expected airport disruptions due to the rehabilitation project.

The project aims to address maintenance deficiencies identified by the state, including deteriorated pavement and gravel surfaces, culverts and drainage facilities in poor condition and terrain obstructions within runway Object Free Area (OFA), according to the City of Homer website.

It also notes limited and difficult access to the airport perimeter to perform security operations, fence maintenance, wildlife hazard management, airfield rescues and inadequate line of sight on the runway.

An earlier public meeting for the project was held in October 2021 and QAP engineer Andrew Loman noted preliminary work in the project was initiated and scheduled to include a topographic survey, a geotechnical evaluation, a hydrologic and hydraulics evaluation, a cultural resource survey, wetland delineation and functional assessment and per- and polyfluoroalkyl site characterization.

According to the city website, the 2024 impacts will include nightly runway closures from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. until the project is complete. There will be a five-day (120-hour) full runway closure from 8 p.m. April 15 to April 21. A 24-hour full runway closure is currently scheduled for July 17 and a three-day (72-hour) full runway closure is currently scheduled for Oct. 7 to Oct. 11.

Loman said the full-day closures are weather contingent so there is a component of uncertainty about confirming those days.

Some of the smaller aircraft services who use the airport facility charter flights and tour services have expressed concern about business scheduling on the closure days, particularly for the July closure, Loman said, but he noted there really isn’t much the company can do to ultimately confirm the closure dates.

At the March 10 meeting, the engineering team explained that the construction plans are organized into six phases. Work will include closure for pipe installation, excavation, milling, grading, ditch work, paving, marking pavement and saw-cutting grooves.

Airport Manager Kevin Jones with the Alaska DOT is responsible for current maintenance and operation but said once the project is underway with QAP he will not be involved with the details of the improvement project.

A construction hotline has been set up to provide additional project updates and place to ask any questions or address any concerns. The phone number is 866-440-0203.