Weather hampers runway work, increasing delays at MSPby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Reconstruction of a runway has caused some flight delays at the Twin Cities airport in the last couple of months, but bad weather can make having fewer runways even worse.
Flight delays at the airport during a snowy Monday averaged 90 minutes most of the day. Having one runway out of operation meant the snow had a bigger impact on the number of flights that could take off and land, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said.
"When visibility is poor, air traffic controllers have to space out aircraft more than usual, and given the configuration of our three remaining runways, there are limitations on how they can be used in these conditions," he said.
Snow and rain have pushed the completion date for rebuilding the 3,800-foot midsection of the northern parallel runway to around Oct. 30, and more bad weather days could prevent workers from meeting that goal.
"We're still hoping to have it done by Oct. 30, but we have just about a day of bad weather that we can take in order for us to be able to do that," airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski said.
The $17.5 million runway reconstruction is the last part of a $3.1 billion airport expansion project that began in 1999.