Prescott Regional Airport 3R-21L Rehabilitation
Expansion Brings in United Express and Businesses to Boost Local Economy
As an economic driver for northern Arizona communities, the Prescott, AZ Regional Airport (Airport or PRC) was searching for a solution to maintain safety and support its growth and expansion. The Airport produces more than $160 million in annual economic impact with more than $53 million in payrolls from businesses operating at the airport and it will serve over 53,000 passengers in 2019. The Airport fulfills both the commercial service and general aviation (GA) needs for the surrounding areas of the City of Prescott (City), Yavapai County, and residents of the local Yavapai Reservation. Additionally, PRC serves as the flight training base for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University flight students and is used extensively as an aerial tanker base by the U.S. Forest Service. PRC is classified by the FAA as a Non-Hub Primary commercial service public-use airport and is owned by the City of Prescott.
With collaboration on many levels, the airport engineering team at Dibble Engineering (Dibble) provided the solution PRC needed. Critical to the preservation and enhancement of this tremendous regional asset, this project included: rehabilitation of the main runway to eliminate FOD; correction of a runway incursion “Hot Spot” using the FAA Runway Incursion Management (RIM) program with upgrades to the runway lighting and signage; and sawcut groove of the runway to provide a skid resistant surface during wet weather.
City of Prescott
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The project began with detailed planning involving the FAA, Airport and City of Prescott staff, U.S. Forest Service, Emery Riddle University and numerous other stakeholders working together to establish the windows of opportunity for the required work. Based on the project needs, the runway was widened and received an overlay to the existing asphalt. The runway incursion “Hot Spot” was corrected by relocating an existing taxiway, converting runway lighting from incandescent to LED, as well as replacing and adding additional runway guidance signage.
Close and detailed coordination with the stakeholders resulted in a schedule where the majority of the project was completed in a short, 21-day window between the end of forest fire season and the start date of the new passenger air carrier, United Express. The remainder of the work, which included grooving the new runway pavement, was completed at night between the last passenger flight of the day the first flight of the following day. This well coordinated project was completed on time with no delays to passenger traffic. This effort was instrumental to PRC achieving over 10,000 enplanements in 2018, entitling the Airport to achieve a new status as a Primary Commercial Service airport, and making them eligible to receive a substantially larger amount of Federal Airport Improvement Program Funding.