- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - If a jet needs a little extra space landing at the Kodiak airport, the runway has just been extended - 600 feet into the ocean.

However, a special system has been installed on the extended runway to keep jets from making any watery landings, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported (https://bit.ly/2axcspJ).

Airports typically extend runways for safety reasons, but geography was a challenge in Kodiak because the airport runway has a mountain on one end and the ocean on the other.

“If there’s no land, what can you do?” Linda Bustamente, a development specialist with the statewide aviation department of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said. “That’s where the Engineered Material Arresting System comes in.”

It was decided to extend the runway of the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport into the ocean, and the arresting system was installed to prevent jets from going into the drink if they wind up needing a little extra room to land.

The extended runway, which was recently completed, is made of cement blocks that will break if a plane touches them, quickly slowing down even a large jet.

“It will just grab the plane,” Bustamante said.

Environmental assessments for the extension project began in 2007. The $59 million runway project started last summer. Materials for the project, such as rock, came from a gravel pit in Kodiak and a quarry near Wrangell.


Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, https://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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