Delta worked closely with the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to complete the reconstruction of Taxiway C. Taxiway C is the main taxiway used for access to Runway 18L and one of the busiest taxiways on the airfield. This taxiway is the primary taxiway for the majority (approximately 60%) of American Airlines’ flights, including international and commuter aircraft, and experiences an almost constant flow of aircraft. All aircraft arriving to and departing from Concourse D and Concourse E at CLT travel on or adjacent to Taxiway C, regardless of which runway is in use.
The Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) taxiway pavement was originally constructed in 1994 and was rapidly failing. This created a concern for both Foreign Object Debris (FOD) and pavement life. The project included removal and replacement of the existing PCC and asphalt shoulder pavement, installation of new LED taxiway edge lights, and installation of light bases for future taxiway centerline lights.
Due to the location of the taxiway in relation to the terminal building and potential impact to not only the operations of the airlines at CLT but the entire air traffic network, an extended closure to complete the reconstruction was not an option. Close coordination with the airlines in the early phase of design determined that the only opportunity for work on Taxiway C was between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. In addition, at least two of the apron stub taxiways between Taxiway C or Taxiway M and Taxiway C12 had to be open at all times to minimize the potential for “ramp lock” and air traffic delays along the Northeast air traffic corridor. A detailed project construction phasing plan was developed to complete the project and was coordinated with the airlines and the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). The project phasing design also included a detailed Safety Risk Management (SRM) workshop with key stakeholders to evaluate all aspects and impacts of the project. In an effort to identify any potential problem areas, detailed alternate taxi routes for aircraft access to/from the apron were developed and “practiced” by the ATCT prior to beginning construction. The taxiway reconstruction was completed and opened prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and the total project was completed within budget.