Lanai Airport gets funds for runway safety area

The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided $15.3 million to improve the safety area surrounding the runway of Lanai Airport, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced.

The runway safety area does not meet Federal Aviation Administration requirements for an airport the size of Lanai. The improvements will reduce the risk of damage to airplanes in the event of takeoff or landing undershoot, overshoot or going off the runway, said Caroline Sluyter, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The safety area will be cleared and graded to remove potentially hazardous ruts, humps, depressions or other surface issues, she said.

For a runway of Lanai Airport’s size, a safety area 1,000 feet long by 500 feet wide from the runway centerline is required, she said.

“The lack of the required RSA (runway safety area) on the approach of Runway 3 is a safety issue that must be addressed immediately,” Sluyter said.

“These funds for the Lanai Airport are an important investment in the local economy,” said Schatz.

“The grant will help the Lanai Airport remain in compliance with federal regulations and ensure the safety of the tens of thousands of business travelers, tourists and families traveling to and from the islands each year.”