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Winnipeg Airports Authority investing in extensive runway rehabilitation project

April 19, 2024

Categories: At YWG

An aerial photo of Runway 18/36 at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.

As part of Winnipeg Airports Authority’s commitment to providing critical infrastructure to help meet the needs of our community, a significant construction project will be undertaken to upgrade one of the runways at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.

Runway 18/36 will undergo extensive pavement repairs, electrical upgrades, and drainage restoration. Airfield infrastructure acts as major roads for aircraft, and just like roads you drive on, they deteriorate over time. In addition to being held to higher standards, runways also endure more extensive cleaning during the winter months. This type of regular preventative maintenance project is required every 10-15 years to maintain the integrity of a runway so the airport can continue to enable the safe and seamless movement of people and goods.

Runway 18/36

At nearly 3.4 kilometres long, Runway 18/36 at YWG is among the largest across Canada used for commercial aviation. To compare, that’s roughly the same length of Portage Avenue from Downtown Winnipeg to Polo Park.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport has two runways along with 13 taxiways and 12 aprons, totalling 1.3 million square metres of pavement across the airfield.

Project facts

  • Throughout construction, 44,480 tonnes of new asphalt will be poured, more than the combined weight of 500 Boeing 737 planes.
  • Crews will replace 142 kilometres of electrical cable that power various lights on and around the runway, enough to stretch from YWG to Morris and back again.
  • 1,106 new LED lights will be installed, helping YWG further reduce its environmental footprint.

Frequently asked questions

Why is this work being done?

With an average of 275 aircraft landing and taking off each day, the runways at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport are busy! Regular inspections of Runway 18/36 have indicated normal pavement wear that requires rehabilitation. The last time Runway 18/36 underwent this type of upgrade was in 2014.

What work is currently underway?

Construction began in April and is expected to be completed by the fall. To help minimize its impact, the project is being staggered over multiple phases, with some lead-up work completed in 2023. Sections of both runways at YWG will be available for aircraft use throughout the project, however, at times, Runway 18/36 will need to be closed entirely to accommodate construction.

What will I notice?

The following neighbourhoods may experience an increase or decrease in air traffic during the project.

St. James Fort Garry
Brooklands Fort Rouge
Charleswood St. Vital
Tuxedo Wolseley
River Heights South End

Once the project is complete, the frequency of overhead aircraft will reduce for those neighbourhoods that saw an increase, while areas typically under a flight path will see a return to pre-construction traffic.

How does the airport reduce noise disturbances?

While some noise is unavoidable at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, WAA has a program in place to reduce noise disturbances.

The Aeronautical Noise Management Program is overseen by the federal Minister of Transport and sets noise certification requirements for all aircraft in consultation with the international community.

WAA will continue implementing noise abatement procedures for departure and arrival altitudes, nighttime operating restrictions, and more to reduce impacts. However, if you experience any extraordinary noise disturbances, please call the 24-Hour Noise Line at 204-987-9403.

Will flights be affected?

WAA is working with our airline and campus partners to ensure normal operations continue. Safety is always paramount at YWG. We will do our best to ensure your journey continues as planned, but it’s always recommended you confirm the status of your flight before heading to the airport.