published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Runway back in operation at Sebring airport
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- Aircraft arriving at the Sebring Regional Airport Thursday had a new option, the north/south runway.
The new stretch of asphalt became operational Wednesday after months of being closed for refurbishing.
The $4.2 million project began in September of last year when the Sebring Airport Authority received a Federal Aviation Administration grant for reconstruction and overhaul of their main landing strip.
"We totally reconstructed it from the base up," said Executive Director of the Sebring Regional Airport Mike Willingham.
Temporary markings already are down with permanent markings slated to go on in about 30 days.
The project was undertaken to improve the structural integrity of the runway and to provide additional space.
This was phase one.
The second and final phase involves a 1,476-foot extension of the runway, which will lengthen it to 7,000 feet.
A parallel taxiway also is part of the plan.
Engineers have started designing for that phase.
"This project opens up a window that allows others to know us. It will allow a huge amount of growth and development, not only to Sebring or Highlands County but to this entire region as well," said Willingham.
When completed, Willingham said there would be space to accommodate both more planes and larger ones.
"This eventually will allow us to land something as large as a Boeing 737/800," he said.
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