Sunday, July 22, 2018

DFW Airport Announces Two Runway Closures in April

UPDATE 4/27/2018: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has let us know that workers have finished its latest runway construction project three days ahead of schedule. Flights are now taking off on the normal 18L/36R north/south runway.

DFW Airport has notified the City of Southlake about two runway projects that could affect air traffic in Southlake. One is the weekend closure of Runway 17R/35L from Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15, and the second closure is the partial closure of Runway 18R/36L starting Monday, April 16 through Monday, April 30. The following information is from the airport.

Runway 17R/35L Closure:

DFW is planning the weekend closure of Runway 17R/35L from Friday, April 13 at 10:00 p.m. through Sunday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m. This is to accommodate installation of electrical duct banks within the runway safety area.

What to Expect:

On Friday night through Sunday, there is the potential for conditions where winds are westerly or northwesterly (West Flow) at 15 to 20 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph, such that the diagonal Runways 13R/31L and 13L/31R may be needed for arrivals and/or departures.  The shift in aircraft operations during these weather conditions may affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Westlake, Coppell and Irving, which could experience some additional aircraft traffic.

In general, because aircraft take off and land into the wind when winds are southerly aircraft take off to the south and land from north to south.  When winds are northerly, aircraft take off to the north (or northwest in the case of the use of Runway 31L) and land from south to north.  Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction which aircraft take-off and land.

Runway 17R/35L is the primary departure runway on DFW’s east side.  During its closure:

  • North Flow:  When the winds are out of the north or are light/variable:
    • Departures will shift to Runway 35C, which is DFW’s primary arrival runway on the east side.
    • Some departures may shift to the west side of the airport
    • Arrivals will shift from Runway 35C to Runways 35R and 31R on DFW’s east side and Runway 36L on DFW’s west side.
  • South Flow:  When the winds are out of the south:
    • Departures will shift to Runway 17C, which is DFW’s primary arrival runway on the east side.
    • Some departures may shift to the west side of the airport
    • Arrivals will shift from Runway 17C to Runways 13R on DFW’s west side and 17L on DFW’s east side.
  • The use of the outboard runways (diagonal runways and Runway 17L/35R) may be extended at night to 11 p.m.
  • The shift in aircraft operations to other runways during the closure may primarily affect the cities of Coppell, Irving, and Lewisville. Flower Mound, Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Westlake, Euless, and Arlington could also experience some additional aircraft traffic.
  • The graphic below provides a visual as to how air traffic will be redistributed during the closure.
Air Traffic Redistribution of Traffic During Closure

Air Traffic Redistribution of Traffic During Runway 17R/35L Closure

Runway 18R/36L Partial Closure

Subsequently, DFW is planning the partial closure of Runway 18R/36L from April 16 at 6:00 a.m. until Monday, April 30 at 6:00 a.m.  The partial closure is necessary to accommodate work on the runway involving urgent asphalt shoulder replacement on the south end of Runway 18R/36L.  In preparation, DFW plans to close the runway overnight beginning at 11:00 p.m. on April 15.  The runway will reopen on Monday, April 16 at 6:00 a.m. with the southern-most portion closed for the repairs.

The runway will be available for use during the partial closure as follows:

  • South winds:  Runway 18R will be available for landings.
  • North winds:  The runway will be closed to arrivals.  Arrivals will shift to the departure runway, Runway 36R, requiring departures to shift to Runway 31L.
  • The runway will be closed at night and during periods of reduced visibility.
  • The runway will reopen to full length on April 30 at 6:00 a.m.

What to Expect:

The weather forecast is not known for the closure period.  In general, because aircraft take off and land into the wind when winds are southerly aircraft take off to the south and land from north to south.  When winds are northerly, aircraft take off to the north (or northwest in the case of the use of Runway 31L) and land from south to north.  Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction which aircraft take-off and land.

Runway 18R/36L is the primary arrival runway on DFW’s west side.  During its closure:

  • North Flow:  When the winds are out of the north or are light/variable:
    • Arrivals will shift from Runway 36L (arrival runway) to Runway 36R (departure runway) on the west side.
    • Departures will shift to Runway 31L
    • Some departures may shift to the east side of the airport
    • Increased arrivals Runway 31R and 35R on the east side;
  • South Flow:  When the winds are out of the south:
    • Little to no change in operations
    •  Runway 18R will still be available for aircraft arrivals.
  • The use of the outboard runways (diagonal runways and Runway 17L/35R) may be extended at night to 11:00 p.m.
  • The shifts in aircraft operations to other runways during the closure may primarily affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Westlake and Flower Mound.  Lewisville, Coppell, Irving, Euless and Arlington could also experience some additional aircraft traffic.
  • The graphic below provides a visual as to how air traffic will be redistributed during the closure.
Air Traffic Redistribution During Partial Closure of Runway 18R/36L

Air Traffic Redistribution During Partial Closure of Runway 18R/36L

DFW Airport encourages citizens with inquiries or complaints to contact them.  You may contact them by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7).  Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided when requested.

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