Since mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the Capital Development team has continued to assess the scope, schedule, and budget of every project to determine if it moves forward or stays paused.
The Fuel Facility Reconstruction is one project that is advancing in order to support critical airport infrastructure. The existing fuel facility, located in the southeast airfield area, was constructed in 1973 and needed upgrades that could not wait. After a 2017 design review, construction on the facility began in late 2019 and is still underway.
The project includes the erection and installation of four new fuel storage tanks, electrical upgrades to accommodate the new and existing tanks, a new electrical substation, the rehabilitation of the existing load racks, a new water storage fire tank, and a new operations facility. The project is expected to be complete by early 2021.
Another project that has resumed is the pavement improvements to Runway 6-24, Northeast Philadelphia Airport’s primary runway.
“Given the important role PNE plays as a reliever airport to PHL, when we started the first phase of this project in 2019, it was important to avoid operational disruptions. This challenge led us to strengthen the existing sub-grade by mixing it with cement to minimize the import of materials and expedite the construction process. This plan helped reduce the construction duration from six months to under four months,” said John Brewer, Airport Operations Manager at Northeast Philadelphia Airport.
This reuse practice cut hauling trips, saving approximately 17,000 gallons of gas. The two remaining phases, including the one that is underway and is scheduled through the end of October, should save over 50,000 gallons of gas. Phase three will begin in April 2021.
“We have been able to continue these critical improvements at PNE thanks in part to the recent CARES Act, which provides funds to increase the federal share to 100 percent and thus eliminating our local share,” said Api Appulingam, Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development. PHL and PNE received approximately $116 million as part of the CARES Act signed into law in March; these funds will be utilized to support various airport operations, including infrastructure projects.
PNE has two runways and averages 215 based aircraft, dominated by single engine aircraft, as well as twins, jets, turboprops and helicopters. Runway 6-24 accounts for approximately 60 percent of PNE traffic.