March 23, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA said that the 9,000-foot-long runway 9L/27R of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport will be closed as required from May 3 to July 7 for construction. The agency cautioned pilots to expect significant delays.
Planned construction includes completion of high-speed taxiways, expanded runway entry areas, installation of runway surface lights, and relocation of ILS equipment.
Delays can be expected for both IFR and VFR traffic, and may affect IFR operations at outlying airports. Pilots were advised to check notams frequently while planning well ahead for flights into or near Fort Lauderdale.
Especially when arriving at or departing Fort Lauderdale, general aviation pilots should plan their flights taking into account possible delays similar to those faced by airlines. Airborne holding is likely to be used as a traffic management tool during construction. Ground stops, special traffic management programs, and ground delay programs may also go into effect as needed. Pilots should become thoroughly familiar with the airport’s taxi routes.
The FAA recommended that whenever possible, pilots adjust planned arrival and departure times to avoid high-demand periods. Using alternate airports is also encouraged.
If your aircraft can depart from Runway 27L at intersection E (4,028 feet available) advise ATC on initial contact.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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