Commercial air service returns to the Redmond Airport today, bringing to an end a three-week closure to replace the main runway.
Reached Friday, Airport Manager Zachary Bass said private pilots were set to resume flying in and out of Redmond by late Friday afternoon, with scheduled commercial service resuming this morning.
The Redmond Airport includes two runways, both 7,000 feet long and laid out in an X pattern. Takeoffs and landings had not been affected by repaving that began last year, but as the project progressed, crews reached the point where the two runways intersect, forcing the recent closure.
The repaving is part of an $18.5 million project, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and state grants.
“I couldn’t have asked for a smoother process,” Bass said. “On budget, on time, and we’re excited.”
The three-week closure affected approximately 2,600 flights and cost the city-owned airport roughly $360,000. Some air freight operations were temporarily shifted to the Bend Municipal Airport.
Flyers returning to Redmond Airport should find a few minor changes. Bass said during the closure, the terminal was thoroughly cleaned, the kids play area was improved, new security cameras were installed and parking lot striping was repainted.
Crews are scheduled to complete the replacement of the airport’s secondary runway next summer, Bass said, but the project is not expected to interrupt air service.
Bass said the project so far has used 45,000 tons of asphalt, equivalent to what would be needed to pave two lanes of U.S. Highway 97 from Bend to Madras.
Nearly all of the asphalt that made up the old runway has been reused on site, Bass said — about a third recycled into new asphalt for the new runway, a third to repave the 8-mile service road around the airport perimeter, and a third that is now stored on site for future asphalt patching needs.
Once completed, the repaving should provide 60 years of service without another runway closure, Bass said.
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