The primary runway at Glacier Park International Airport, serving Whitefish, Mont., and other nearby communities, will be closed for 12 days this August for rehabilitation. This schedule will allow for all weekend arrivals and departures after 9 a.m. on Fridays through 10 p.m. on Mondays, from Aug. 2 to 27.
Construction on the runway project has been divided into four phases scaled to accommodate this schedule. Each phase will be completed within the days allotted to allow for full runway usage on the weekend schedule. The construction operations will run 24 hours a day during the closure periods.
“We have been asked why August and not May or September when there are fewer visitors to the area,” Cindi Martin, airport director said. “It is a matter of the 24-hour air temperature, the likelihood of rain fall and FAA funding schedules. In our extensive studies of the weather patterns, the month of August is the best time with the highest likelihood of optimal conditions.”
During the time when the primary runway is closed small general aviation aircraft will be accommodated as much as possible on the crosswind runway.
“The airport’s primary runway is safe, but the surface needs to be rehabilitated now to keep it that way. It is routine maintenance, something that must be done every 18 to 20 years to maintain the integrity of the runway landing surface. We intend to get it done before there is reason to be concerned because safety is our top priority.”