With the holidays quickly approaching, shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) was working hard to meet the demands of its customers. Unfortunately, the company was unable to land its Airbus 300-600 Freighter aircraft carrying 75,000 packages at Clinton National Airport (LIT) because of work at the airport that temporarily reduced the runway safety area from 500 feet to 400 feet. This reduction suspended most instrument landing system operations, and with weather forecast at 1/16 of a mile visibility and 100-foot overcast, no aircraft could land at LIT.
Charley Jones, director of airport operations at LIT, called Garver one day at 11 a.m. to see how quickly they could coordinate the work at the airport and open the runway up to its full instrument capabilities. Garver instructed the contractor, Redstone, to shift all its workers to the specific work area to complete the work and reopen the runway by 5 a.m. the next morning. Garver staff members and subs were on-site to provide construction observation for the work.
“[Giving that plane a place to land] was the difference between our customers getting their packages as promised or not getting them and disappointing them greatly,” said Jim Hamilton of UPS Airlines.
“Redstone did three days’ work in half a day and the UPS aircraft made its schedule,” said Garver Project Manager Adam Roberson. “Had that plane not been able to land, there would have been a lot of unhappy people, but instead, working with the airport and the contractor, we were able to get the work completed and ‘save Christmas’ for those folks.”
Clinton National Airport is undergoing a $1.8 million airfield drainage project, which is broken up into sixteen phases scattered out over the west side of the airfield. The project includes replacement/rehabilitation of 11,168 linear feet (2.1 miles) of reinforced concrete pipe and 29 drainage structures. The project is scheduled to be complete in April 2015.