Tupelo Airport Expansion


Long-term relationship helps regional airport grow

Neel-Schaffer has completed a multitude of projects for this regional air carrier airport over the last 25 years, starting with a 1,000-foot runway extension in 1991, followed two years later by a full-length parallel taxiway extension. Neel-Schaffer provided all engineering services, from design through construction.

Since then, Neel-Schaffer has extended the north end of the runway by 1,500 feet in an estimated $9 million project that took the total length to 8,000 feet. Work included the preparation of implementation schemes, development of cost estimates, evaluation of impacts to existing roadway/traffic patterns, coordination of efforts necessary to perform cultural resource investigations of lands once occupied by the Chickasaw Indian tribe, and providing support to others as they prepared the airport’s Environmental Assessment necessary for the construction of the project. As a result of the planning process, the extension was reduced to 1,000 feet and was accomplished in two phases on both ends of the runway.

Other projects at this airport:

Runway Widening: First phase of a multi-year project aimed at expanding the only runway from 100 feet wide to 150 feet. The airport had to maintain air traffic operations for the scheduled air carrier operations. Runway widening therefore had to take place at night, with the runway brought back into compliance with FAA safety criteria each morning. Work also included development of a portable HIRL system that could be moved out of the way prior to each day’s construction, a new HIRL system permanently installed after the runway was widened, new threshold lights, relocated REILs, VASI-IV removal and its replacement with a new 4-Box PAPI… both associated with the Runway 18 approach. Project cost: $5.4 million.

Corporate Apron Expansion/Taxiway Widening/Asphalt Apron Reconstruction: First project of several targeting expansion and/or rehabilitation of the corporate area pavements at the airport. Work on this project included the extension of a concrete apron over sites where old hangars had once stood. Work also included the widening of a taxiway from 30 to 50 feet that serves the concrete apron area. The asphalt apron also was reconstructed as a part of this project. The asphalt apron had experienced significant pavement failures, and much of it had to be totally removed to subgrade elevations and replaced with a full-depth asphalt pavement. Work also included development of new MITL (LED) edge lighting systems, aircraft tie-downs, and apron grounding system, and relocation of ramp lights on 35- foot poles. Project cost: $900,000.


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