Press release: Monroe County Airport Announces Runway Lighting Project

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Wednesday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     

May 18, 2022               

Monroe County Airport Announces Runway Lighting Project

BLOOMINGTON: – The Monroe County Airport will undertake a significant airfield lighting upgrade on its primary runway this summer.  The $2.5 million project consists of constructing a new airfield electrical vault, removing, and replacing all underground cabling, runway edge, threshold lights, and all illuminated signage associated with the primary runway.  The project will require several runway closures during the summer.  

The current lighting system is over thirty years old and is composed of direct-buried cable and inefficient incandescent components.  The new state-of-the-art system will be cabled in conduit and receive new electrical regulators and LEDs for runway edges, threshold lights, and signs.  This upgrade will vastly enhance airfield safety and reliability while concurrently reducing the required labor hours to maintain the current system.  The new LED lighting system is expected to operate 80% more efficiently, saving the taxpayers of Monroe County hundreds of thousands of dollars over the system’s lifetime once completely installed.

Airport Director Carlos Laverty stated, “Due to its age, the lighting system became too labor-intensive to operate efficiently.  We had planned to request a grant in 2022, but due to favorable conditions with COVID-related Federal funding, we decided to pursue an urgent “pop-up” grant through the FAA to replace the system.  The $2.5 million grant was approved late last summer and funded 100% by the FAA. Usually, the FAA will only fund at 90%, but due to COVID, the feds were at 100% to keep the industry moving forward.  Our project received strong support from local institutions like Cook, Catalent, Indiana University, NSWC Crane, and elected officials U.S. Rep. Hollingsworth and U.S. Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun.  I’m confident the project was approved quickly due to our strong support.”

The Monroe County Airport’s project will consist of five phases, with two of those phases closing the primary runway.  Phase 2 closes the main runway from May 31st – June 18th from 8 AM-6 PM Monday through Saturday.  Phase 5 of the project will close the main runway from August 23rd through September 14th, 24/7.  Laverty stated, “The Airport Board appreciates the severe impact runway closures have on our community and economy.  Unfortunately, the nature of work performed on the runway requires such closures.  We’ve worked closely with our contractors to ensure they work smartly and quickly on this project to return the runway to service as soon as possible.”  The airport’s crosswind runway, which is shorter and unable to accommodate larger commercial aircraft, will remain open for nearly the entire project. 

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