Ready for takeoff: Charlottetown Airport runway extension complete

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Ready for takeoff: Charlottetown Airport runway extension complete

Work has officially finished on a big project at the Charlottetown Airport. The airport's second runway has been extended to the same length as the main runway.

The 609 metre extension was a two year project, and the newly extended runway officially opened on Monday.

Repairs to main runway next year

Until now, the secondary runway has been used for smaller planes, but not large commercial aircraft. The main reason for the extension is to ensure larger planes can still take off and land during reconstruction to the main runway next year. 

"Having a secondary 7,000 foot runway will enable us to divert all traffic to that runway while the main one is closed," explained Vanessa Smith, Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Charlottetown Airport Authority.  

Smith said the airport expects the main runway to be closed for the entire 2018 construction season. After that, the airport should be set for years to come. Smith said runways typically need some repairs every 15 to 20 years. 

End of two year project

The first phase of the project took place last summer, with infilling at the end of the runway. This summer, crews worked on gravel laying, paving and electrical work. 

The total cost for the project was about $7 million. Smith said the project came in on time, and on budget. 

In the long run, Smith said it could also allow more planes to land at the airport.

"We can't predict right the traffic will be spread out between them both. But it gives them the option now that they can land on either one," said Smith.