Third Runway to Be Constructed at Charlotte/Douglas

Thu January 18, 2007 - Southeast Edition

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Federal Aviation Administration is contributing $124 million to build a third parallel runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

Construction on the 9,000-ft. (2,750 m) runway is to begin in March and the new landing strip is expected to open in early 2010, airport officials said. The runway, to be built on the airport’s western edge, will allow the airport to land three planes simultaneously in bad weather, a rarity at major airports.

The airport will pay its share of the project — expected to total about $96 million — by continuing to collect a $3 facility charge that is tacked onto the ticket price of all passengers departing from Charlotte/Douglas.

The $220 million cost is substantially less than what other airports have spent to build runways in recent years. In Atlanta and St. Louis, new runway projects each totaled more than $1 billion.

Long a hub for US Airways, there are questions about whether Charlotte/Douglas will lose flights if US Airways succeeds in its attempt at a hostile takeover of Delta, which has its largest hub in nearby Atlanta.