By Neil Young
The Daily News
BULLHEAD CITY — As part of Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport’s runway expansion project, the airport has installed a new state-of-the-art lighting system, said Jeremy Keating, airport director.
It has surge protection against lightning strikes, and, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, it can be operated from the control tower, Keating said. A new, larger pre-fab lighting vault was assembled, which houses the equipment
The runway has been extended 1,000 feet for a total of 8,500 feet.
“It doesn’t necessarily accommodate larger aircraft, but it more accommodates the current aircraft in the hot summer months,” Keating said.
Planes need a longer runway to take off in hot weather, or they need to take on less fuel to get off the ground. Planes leaving Bullhead often had to refuel on the way to their destination, Keating said.
He added that extending the runway helped the airport obtain its scheduled passenger service from American Airlines.
The plane used by American needs a longer runway, Keating said.
The airport has four projects planned for this fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1: Rehabilitation of its general aviation, or private aircraft, ramp; rehabilitation of the commercial apron, where airliners and military aircraft park; expansion of an overnight parking area for aircraft; and compiling a “drainage master plan” to fix water drainage issues.
“We’re trying to improve the airport,” Keating said, “so there always seems to be something that needs to be done.”