Project Spotlight: McKinney National Airport Replacement Runway

Friday, August 18, 2017

​McKinney National Airport Replacement Runway, McKinney, TX
KSA began work on the replacement runway project in 2006, beginning with an environmental assessment for the new 7,002 foot by 150 foot runway. KSA served as the prime consultant, providing all civil engineering, surveying, construction administration, and inspection aspects of the project. We enlisted the support of additional firms to provide geotechnical investigations, construction materials testing, environmental permitting, and navaid designs. At $43.5 million, this project was the largest single project ever undertaken by TxDOT Aviation, serving as a flagship project for the City of McKinney, TxDOT Aviation, and KSA. Due to the magnitude of costs and funding limitations, the project was divided into multiple phases, including the environmental assessment, design, the relocation of FM 546, grading and drainage structures, runway paving, lighting, navaids, connecting taxiways, and runway completion.

The original layout of the airport was based on an Airport Reference Code (ARC) of B-II. As the airport grew to accommodate larger aircraft, the ARC was changed to C-III. This, in turn, increased runway separation and safety requirements, making the airfield non-compliant with safety criteria. With commitments from the City of McKinney, TxDOT Aviation, and the FAA, the airport hired KSA to undertake the massive separation and compliance with safety criteria. The scope of work included the following:

  • Environmental assessment
  • Drainage master plan
  • AGIS survey and data entry
  • Property acquisition
  • Construct new 7,000-foot by 150-foot runway
  • Construct new 75-foot wide connecting taxiways
  • 450,000 lb. DTWL pavement capacity
  • Convert existing runway to parallel taxiway
  • Install new ILS, including glideslope, localizer, and MALSR
  • Relocate ASOS
  • Install new PAPIs and Runway 36 MALS
  • Perimeter road and security fencing
  • Major drainage structures and detention
  • Relocate FM 546 including coordination with TxDOT
  • New runway and taxiway lighting, signage, and electrical vault

The first step of the project was the completion of an environmental assessment (EA) meeting the requirements of FAA Order 1050.1E, NEPA Implementation for Airport Actions. The document included much scrutiny, particularly since new runway approaches were developed over the neighboring City of Fairview and substantial land acquisition was required. Regardless, we were able to obtain an approval of the EA document and acquire a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) without any opposition.

During the EA, KSA determined it best to locate the replacement runway 550 feet east of the existing runway. This allowed the existing runway to remain open while the new runway and drainage structures were constructed. Our design worked seamlessly, as the runway was only closed for a matter of hours during the transfer of air traffic from the old runway to the new one.

One significant component of the project included a partial perimeter road along with security fencing. 11,222 feet of new perimeter road was designed and constructed around the south end of the airport property, providing access to navaids and the east side of the airfield. In addition, 12,473 linear feet of security fencing was installed. We included a three-foot wide concrete mow strip at the bottom of the fence to discourage animals from tunneling under and entering the airfield. Airport officials have commented on how significantly that strip has reduced the occurrence of burrowing animals and made mowing and maintenance much easier.

The replacement runway project at McKinney National Airport is a shining example of KSA’s ability to successfully complete large scale projects, overcome construction challenges, and meet deadlines. In fact, despite a few significant challenges, KSA completed this project a month ahead of schedule. This project touched nearly every piece of the airfield, including runways, taxiways, lighting, signage, navaids, safety areas, perimeter roads, security fencing, drainage systems, and utilities. The comprehensive project was also completed $3 million under the initial budget.

Services Provided
Environmental Assessment
Civil Engineering
Construction Administration

McKinney National Airport

End: Sept 2011

Cost: $ 43.5M
End: November 2012

Project Size
7,002 feet by 150 feet