The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will be closed the next two days as rehabilitation work on the runway gets underway.
The runway will be closed from 7 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Crews will be grinding down four inches and then putting back four inches on the entire runway.
“We are basically doing a runway rehab,” said Craig Piper, County Airports Deputy Director.
Day in and day out, airport runways take a lot of weight and over time they degrade.
Starting Monday, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will begin replacing some of that pavement.
"Because if we don't, it gets to the point where we can't land the aircraft on that, and it becomes unsafe for that aircraft to operate,” Piper said.
Crews will be resurfacing 6,100 feet of the runway and upgrading the taxiway connectors. They’ll also start switching out the old lights and replacing them with LEDs.
"Some of it has been here longer than I've been here and I've been here for more than 20 years. Typically, you want to replace the lights after about 13 to 15 years,” Piper said, adding, “They'll be much more energy efficient. Our lighting system is quite old and degraded and so we just we need to replace it's well overdue for replacement."
Flights will resume at the airport starting Wednesday at 7 a.m. but in the coming months, more scheduled runway closures will take place due to the ongoing renovation work.
The runway closures will take place overnight five nights a week expect Friday and Saturdays.
The work is best done at night due to cooler temperatures, which helps asphalt set.
The airport has been working on the renovation schedule for more than a year and coordinating with airlines so they could plan ahead.
"They've either reduced their quantity of flights or they've adjusted to fall within that parameter that we have where the airport will be open,” Piper said.
The work is expected to be completed in the fall.
To pay for the project, the airport competed with others for grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The FAA stepped up and they are funding the entire project. We don't have to put any local funds to that but it comes out of the airways,” Piper said.
The renovations are expected to cost $13.5 million
The airport says normally, the FAA would only give about 90 percent of funds for the project, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they provided the whole amount.