A 1,000-foot runway extension at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport is due to open by mid- October after its final surfacing, due to be applied by Oct. 6. The $4.3 million South Runway project paralleling SW 136th Street falls 1,250 feet short of the original extension plan designed to permit cross-country flights by corporate jets that take off and land at Kendall-Tamiami.
“The new extension will allow existing corporate jets safer and better use of the existing runway, even though that extension is not of sufficient length to provide fuel capacity for cross-country flights,” said Norman A. Hegedus, interim manager of the airport and acting manager for Homestead Regional Airport.
“We expected to have it open during September but rainy weather kept forcing us to postpone the final surface treatment,” Hegedus explained.
The project got underway in January of this year.
VFR (Visual Flight Rules) will start once the runway project is completed, Hegedus said, noting that approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require up to 56 days for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certification.
“It’s still a major improvement to serve our FBO (fixed base operators) with existing aircraft, an important plus for Kendall- Tamiami overall,” he added.
Original planning to accommodate cross-country corporate jets would have extended both east and west ends of the runway by 2,250 feet at an estimated cost of $11 million but federal funding was unavailable to that extent.
The new 1,000-foot extension lengthening the runway only to the west was approved with 95 percent ($4.2 million) paid from federal funds and the balance ($200,000) from Miami-Dade Aviation Department budgeting.
Hegedus, noise abatement planner for the Aviation Department, is serving as interim manager prior to the impending Oct. 30 retirement of Mike Handrahan, now on vacation.
After that date, the county will advertise for a permanent airport manager, according to Greg Chin, Aviation Department spokesperson.