Winnipeg Richardson Undergoes Major Runway Upgrade

Photo Credit: Winnipeg Airports Authority

Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) is committed to maintaining critical infrastructure that supports the surrounding community’s needs.

As part of this dedication, a significant construction project is underway to upgrade Runway 18/36 at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG).

Extensive Improvements to RWY 18/36

Runway 18/36, a vital main runway for air traffic, will receive comprehensive upgrades including:

  • Pavement Repairs: Addressing normal wear and tear to ensure a smooth and safe landing and takeoff surface.
  • Electrical Upgrades: Replacing aging electrical systems to enhance reliability and efficiency.
  • Drainage Restoration: Optimizing drainage to prevent water accumulation and maintain runway integrity.

Spanning nearly 3.4 kilometers, Runway 18/36 ranks amongst the largest commercial aviation runways in Canada.

Imagine that distance – roughly equivalent to driving down Portage Avenue from Winnipeg’s heart to Polo Park!

Aerial view of Winnipeg Richardson Airport.
Photo Credit: Winnipeg Airports Authority

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Airports, just like our roadways, require regular maintenance to function optimally. Runways, subjected to 24/7 operations and demanding winter conditions, experience wear and tear over time.

This preventative maintenance project, occurring every 10-15 years, safeguards the runway’s integrity. It will ensure the airport continues to facilitate the continuous flow of passenger and cargo operations.

Addressing Normal Wear and Tear

With an average of 275 daily landings and takeoffs, YWG’s runways are bustling hubs. Regular inspections identified the need for rehabilitation on Runway 18/36 due to normal wear and tear. The last such upgrade occurred in 2014.

Minimizing Disruptions: A Phased Approach

Construction commenced in April and is slated for completion by fall. To minimize disruptions, the project is divided into phases, with some preparatory work completed in 2023.

While sections of both YWG runways will remain operational throughout, there may be temporary closures of Runway 18/36 to facilitate construction.

Potential Neighbourhood Impact

Residents in the following neighbourhoods may experience temporary changes in air traffic patterns:

  • St. James
  • Fort Garry
  • Brooklands
  • Fort Rouge
  • Charleswood
  • St. Vital
  • Tuxedo
  • Wolseley
  • River Heights
  • South End

Upon project completion, neighbourhoods experiencing increased air traffic will see a return to pre-construction levels, while those under typical flight paths will resume normal operations.

WAA’s Commitment to Noise Reduction

While some noise is inevitable at YWG, WAA prioritizes noise reduction initiatives. The federally overseen Aeronautical Noise Management Program sets aircraft noise certification standards in collaboration with the international community.

Additionally, WAA implements various noise abatement measures, including departure and arrival altitude adjustments, nighttime restrictions, and more.

Flight Impact? Minimal Disruption Expected

WAA collaborates with airlines and on-site partners to ensure minimal disruption to flight operations.

Safety remains paramount at YWG. While the Authority strives for smooth journeys, travelers are recommended to confirm your flight status before heading to the airport.

Project Highlights

  • 44,480 tonnes of new asphalt: This surpasses the combined weight of 500 Boeing 737 aircraft!
  • 142 kilometers of electrical cable replacements: Enough to stretch from YWG to Morris and back.
  • 1,106 new LED lights: Contributing to YWG’s environmental sustainability efforts.

This essential project ensures Winnipeg Richardson International Airport remains a reliable and efficient gateway for our community, fostering connections and supporting economic growth.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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