A $3.3 million renovation project at Leesburg Executive Airport is expected to be completed within two weeks, well before it was scheduled to finish, said airport director Cindi Martin.
"We're about 10 days ahead of schedule," Martin said of the project, which began May 31 and was expected to last 90 days.
Resurfacing the runway took a little less than two months, and the runway reopened July 27. The average runway surface lasts about 15 to 20 years under normal wear from planes and the elements, Martin said. "It had passed its useful life cycle," she said.
The improvements included correcting a sag that had developed on the north end and re-centering the crown -- a slight rounding of the runway from the centerline downward to the edges so the surface drains freely.
Runway lighting was upgraded, and the wind sock, an elevated cloth funnel that helps pilots judge wind speed and direction, was moved and enlarged.
Final painting of the runway stripes is scheduled to begin Monday, and the following week the surface will be grooved to prevent planes from skidding. The narrow grooves, which are etched across the runway, also promote drainage. Final touches should be completed by mid-August, Martin said.
The Federal Aviation Administration provided 95 percent of the project's financing, the Virginia Department of Aviation 3 percent and the town of Leesburg 2 percent.
Leesburg Executive Airport is the second busiest general aviation airport in Virginia, averaging 100,000 takeoffs and landings a year, Martin said.
-- ARIANNE ARYANPUR