Charlotte airport breaks ground on fourth parallel runway

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Charlotte Douglas International Airport launched construction on the next project under the Destination CLT portfolio this week, with a groundbreaking of CLT’s fourth parallel runway.

Scheduled for commissioning in fall 2027, the runway will allow for 20 additional arrivals and departures during peak hours in 2028 and 32 in 2033.

“This is a special day for the City of Charlotte as we break ground on a new runway at our growing Airport,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said. “As one of the busiest airports in the world, CLT is a top economic driver for the State of North Carolina and this new runway will increase our operational productivity enabling additional flights while reducing our carbon footprint.”

CLT’s $1-billion airfield project will add a 10,000-foot-long by 150-foot-wide runway, which will be located west of Runway 18C/36C and serve departing traffic. It will include north and south end-around taxiways, which will give aircraft arriving on the existing western parallel runway the capability for continued movement around the new runway and the existing center runway.

“American Airlines is proud to continue investing in Charlotte through the airport’s Destination CLT program,” said American’s Chief Operating Officer David Seymour. “This new runway will lead to an increase in capacity to meet future demand. Growth in Charlotte is good for everyone who relies on this airport including American, the customers we serve and our team members.”

The South End-Around Taxiway project will require a one-mile relocation of West Boulevard between Piney Top Road and Byrum Drive. The North End-Around Taxiway requires the relocation of the Airport Overlook, a one-mile segment of Old Dowd Road and the construction of a new private access drive adjacent to the Airport’s Long Term 1 parking lot.

Since 2015, Charlotte Douglas has been developing several Destination CLT projects, the Airport’s $3.1 billion capital investment in capacity enhancements. Finished projects include:

  • Concourse A Expansion Phase I, several concourse renovations, The Plaza and the Airport’s upper and lower-level roadways.
  • Terminal Lobby Expansion (TLE) continues construction and is more than halfway complete. The east side of the new building is on target to debut this fall. It will include the unveiling of the Queen Charlotte statue.
  • Outside the 146,000-sq. ft. TLE roadway canopy under construction will cover the eight lanes in front of the terminal. A late 2024 finish date is scheduled for the canopy.
  • The 191,848-sq. ft., 10-gate Concourse A Expansion Phase II will debut in fall 2024.

CLT is the seventh busiest airport worldwide for arrivals and departures and 10th in North America for passengers according to the Airports Council International (ACI) 2022 preliminary rankings.

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