Improved concrete runway opening at airport

The new concrete crosswind runway at the Columbus Municipal Airport is a rare commodity for small airports, which means the airport likely will be more desirable to pilots, airport officials say.

After a three-month renovation project, airport director Brian Payne and other aviation officials will unveil the improved runway at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. today.

Poor drainage along the sides of the former crosswind runway led to water accumulating in the asphalt, which caused the surface to deteriorate and become a safety hazard, Payne said.

To remedy the problem, crews removed 9 inches of the asphalt surface and replaced it with 10 inches of concrete. A new drainage system was installed to prevent water build-up in the future.

“That’s a significant addition that will help our future traffic,” Payne said.

The new runway also is fully grooved, which will increase the airport’s capability to allow planes to take off or land in all weather conditions, Payne said.

The final product is expected to last more than 30 years and will reduce the airport’s maintenance costs, he said.

In total, the project cost about $5 million to complete, with 95 percent of the cost covered by the Federal Aviation Administration and Indiana Department of Transportation, Payne said.

Columbus Municipal Airport serves planes from many local corporations, including Cummins Inc.

The airport this year is expected to service:

42,000 expected take-offs and landings

3,200 military operations

The new runway, coupled with the remodeled terminal, restaurant and self-fueling station, likely will make the small airport more attractive to pilots in the areas surrounding Columbus, Payne said.

Local aviation leaders who had a hand in the renovation project will speak at today’s ceremony.

If you go

Columbus Municipal Airport runway ribbon cutting

  • When: 3 p.m. today
  • Where: Columbus Municipal Airport, 4770 Ray Boll Blvd.
  • Program: Aviation officials will speak, refreshments will be provided following the ceremony

By the numbers

Here are some numbers associated with the new crosswind runway renovation at the Columbus Municipal Airport.

1,800: Truckloads of concrete used on the project

4,000: Tons of asphalt applied

500: Gallons of paint used

8,000: Hours of labor on the project

$5 million: Cost

Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.