PHL Wins NEC-AAAE Airfield Project of the Year Award for Taxiway P Realignment

The Department of Aviation recently received the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (NEC-AAAE)’s “Airfield Project of the Year” award for the Taxiway P Realignment Project. The NEC-AAAE dedicates itself to supporting and developing leaders in the aviation industry and presents the Airfield Project of the Year award to projects completed within the last year that significantly improved airport operations and safety.

The $28.1 million project involved realigning the taxiway between Taxiway U and Taxiway N at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to meet the FAA’s 500-foot runway-taxiway separation requirement for low visibility operations. This realignment reduces impacts on airport operations, enhances safety, and boosts efficiency. 

The project's complexity stemmed from its implementation of two first-of-their-kind materials: this project was the first use of low-density cellular concrete (LDCC) and cement-treated subgrade at PHL. LDCC was selected as the lightweight fill and used a load-balancing design to mitigate post-construction settlement over critical utilities and areas within the taxiway safety area where surcharge could not be placed. The taxiway’s subgrade was cement-treated to provide a non-moisture susceptible construction platform and uniform subgrade support across the variable subgrade conditions. 

The location of the construction, surrounded by key taxiways, also added a layer of additional complexity. To maintain access to existing Taxiway P and support PHL's operational needs, the Capital Development Group team executed the project in three phases. Close coordination between the designer, contractor, and project management/construction management team was also crucial. The result was increased airfield capacity and safer operations, especially during low-visibility conditions on Runway 9L-27R. 

"We are extremely proud of how our airport engineering team prioritizes safety and efficiency on airfield projects," said Department of Aviation Chief Development Officer Api Appulingam. "We extend our heartfelt thanks to the NEC-AAAE for recognizing their diligent efforts." 

The Department of Aviation shares this award with its exceptional team of consultants, including AtkinsRéalis (design consultant), Michael Baker International (consultant project manager), JMT, Inc. (construction manager), and Haines & Kibblehouse, Inc. (construction contractor). Each team member played a critical role in achieving this milestone, showcasing the power of collaboration in the aviation industry. 


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Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
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Heather Redfern
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