Project Updates

Projects that Make a Difference

The Capital Development team is hard at work with our partners to proudly transform the airfields and terminals at PHL and PNE airports. We are committed to making PHL the region’s world-class global gateway of choice through capital improvements that improve the customer experience from arrival to departure, modernize and enhance existing infrastructure, expand capacity, and improve overall efficiency. A few of our most notable projects include Stage 1 Airfield runway and taxiway improvements, the new and improved Liberty USO suite for military families and a quiet room for travelers seeking solitude. To keep an eye on the latest developments and project information, visit us here.

PNE Runway Strengthening- December 2019

PNE Runway Strengthening

The History:

Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), together with Philadelphia International Airport, is part of the Philadelphia airport system. The reliever airport, used primarily for general aviation and corporate flights, occupies 1,150 acres in the northeast section of the City of Philadelphia. It has two runways and averages 215 based aircraft, dominated by single engine aircraft, as well as twins, jets, turboprops and helicopters. Since PNE plays an important role in Philadelphia’s regional aviation needs, runway maintenance is vital to the region’s aviation needs.

The Project:

Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) is served by two runways namely Runway 6-24 and Runway 15-33. Runway 6-24 at PNE accounts for approximately 60 percent of PNE traffic. The pavement investigation revealed that the runway had severe distresses in the asphalt layers and reduced capacity particularly at the end of Runway 6-24 due to poor sub-grade conditions.  The pavement required strengthening to serve aircraft such as the B737 and A319.   

PNE is a “reliever” airport for PHL and a major General Aviation in the Northeast region, which requires minimal shutdown of the Runway 6-24. This challenge of increasing the pavement strength and minimizing the “downtime” of the runway resulted in developing a unique approach which has not been used at this airport prior.   

The Work:

This project included Runway 6-24 pavement improvements and re-configuring the geometry of Taxiway L and how it connects to the runway.  The completed work conforms to current FAA criteria including depth pavement reconstruction, airfield lighting relocation and its associated electrical work and pavement markings.The Division of Aviation’s (DOA) approach was to strengthen the sub-grade by mixing it with cement to minimize import of materials and expedite the construction process. The strengthening of Runway 6-24 lasted from April 2019 through October 2019.

 The Result:

Hauling trips were reduced by reusing existing materials, saving over $300,000 for this Package and is expected to save approximately 17,000 gallons of gas for the $7M project. There are two remaining Packages scheduled to commence in the Spring of 2020, which are expected to yield a net savings of $1.1M and over 50,000 gallons of gas. In addition to the above, this method also  resulted in reducing the construction duration of the pavement from six months to under four months.

Capital Development Team:

  • Amna Ali, PMP, DOA Project Manager
  • John Pedley, (HNTB) Construction Manager
  • John Brewer, A.A.E., PNE Airport Manager
  • Sanjay Chaudhury, P.E. (ATKINS) Design Lead
  • Frank Thomas (AECOM) Resident Engineer


  • ATKINS (Prime Contractor)
  • Airport Planning Design Management Inc. (ADCI)
  • Sci-Tek Consultants Inc.
  • Chilton Engineering
  • Faithful and Gould


Runway 6-24 MALSR Threshold Bar Trench



















Runway 6-24 Sub-Grade Preparation






















Runway 6-24 Touch and Designation Markings


























Runway 6- 24 Center Line Paint Markings


Safety Series Part 2: Ensuring Pedestrian Safety -November 2019

The Project:

Ensuring pedestrian safety at road crossings is always a concern at busy airports. At PHL, Arrivals Road and Commercial Road (also known as Commercial Vehicles Road) are two areas with substantial pedestrian activity. The amount of foot traffic has increased enormously along these roadways due to the addition of new airlines, expanded rideshare services and increased demand for passenger pickup courtesy shuttle buses. As a result, additional pedestrian safety measures were needed.  

A 2015 evaluation of pedestrian safety systems found that PHL would benefit from improved pedestrian crossings at existing crosswalks with two types of light systems. The project designers were tasked with designing in-pavement roadway warning lights systems along Arrivals and North Commercial Roads. Both roads have high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, while South Commercial Road has solar powered flashing LED sign systems. In addition to the lighting, North Commercial Road’s pavement was showing areas of severe deterioration due to aging. Rehabilitation included two-inch depth mill and overlay operations along with pedestrian curb ramp improvements to meet current PennDOT and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requirements.

The project was expanded in 2018, after airport Properties and Operations departments made logistical changes to courtesy shuttle bus pickup locations on North and South Commercial Road. The changes included restriping and painting parking stalls and loading zones, adding a lay-by-lane for taxi pickup at B Baggage Claim, and installing bus shelters.

The Work:

The construction consisted of pedestrian safety enhancements in three phases between Arrivals Road, North Commercial Road and South Commercial Road. Site work took place during the day, while heavy construction occurred during off-peak night time hours to avoid traffic lane closures, excess noise and other inconveniences to airport users.

An additional lay-by-lane for taxis was also added to alleviate traffic congestion along the north side of Commercial Road where the taxis are lined up. This phase was completed in August 2019.

After collecting bags, passengers must cross the South Commercial Road to catch rental car shuttles and van services. Additional bus shelters with benches and solar powered LED lights were included in this project to protect passengers waiting at these designated zones. 

Additional pavement distress was observed along North Commercial Road, particularly at areas that experience increased tire pressure. Evaluation and full depth restoration were done for these areas, as needed. Permanent loading zones will be added along Commercial Road to provide door-to-door service for loading and unloading of passengers.

Currently, solar panels with LED flashing pedestrian crossing sign system are being installed along with bollards on both sides of the crosswalks on South Commercial Road. Due to the continuous high volume of traffic along Arrivals and North Commercial Road, the LED lights will continuously flash and will be grooved into a housing inside the pavement.  

The project is anticipated to be completed by December 2019.     

The Result:

The pedestrian safety enhancements provided by this project place a new emphasis on pedestrian safety at PHL and improve the overall safety and use of the airport’s roadways. The new crossing sign system will provide additional visual cues for drivers to be aware of pedestrian crossings, will encourage pedestrians to use the crosswalks that are clearly identified with lighted signs and pavements, and will establish additional loading zones for mobility-impaired travelers.


Capital Development Group (CDG) Team:

  • Craig Hinton (CDG) – Engineering Manager (former)
  • Imad Haq (CDG) – Acting Engineering Manager
  • Julie Coyle (CDG/HNTB) – Project Manager
  • Sobi Babu (CDG) – Resident Engineer
  • Chris Juhaz (CDG/Michael Baker) – Project inspector
  • Design Team: RS&H, ADCI

The Contractors:

  • Prime Contractor – AP Construction Inc.
  • Construction Manager – Ryan Shaw

Standard solar powered LED flashing crosswalk sign system – active at night

(South Commercial Road)