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FAA to Consider Bullhead City Runway Extension Project

Laughlin Bullhead International Airport. Photo credit: yelp.com

By Luci Scott for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

A 1,000-foot runway extension worth $10M to $12M is being designed for the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City and the call for bids for earthwork could occur as early as late spring.

“We’re waiting on a federal aviation grant to be able to move forward,” said the airport’s director, Jeremy Keating. “We’ll probably be going out to bid on the project sometime this year. … It depends on a green light from the FAA to go out to bid.”

The project will be completed in two phases, earth work and the pavement, which will extend the existing 7,500-foot runway to the south.

The civil engineer is Edmonton, Alberta-based Stantec’s office in Phoenix, where Principal Mark Koester said he expects the project’s earthwork will likely go to bid late spring or early summer.

Western Technologies did the geotechnical work for the airport, which is governed by the Mohave County Airport Authority.

The extension is being built to improve issues with safety standards and capacity, which is dictated by the summer heat.

Issues vary with factors such as aircraft type and weight, and the plane’s destination.

“For example, let’s say you’re going to Michigan and taking off in 115 degrees and you have 460 passengers,” Keating said. “You’d have to take less fuel because you’re restricted on runway length on how much weight you can lift. You punch in the numbers and say, ‘We can only take 2,000 gallons of fuel … so we have to stop in Denver, pay more landing fees and take on more fuel to get to Michigan.”