Tucson Air Guard, other stakeholders mark start of airfield safety enhancement program

MORRIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ariz. — Tucson Air Guard’s Civil Engineer leaders met recently with other stakeholders today to commemorate the start of the End-Around Taxiway Project (referred to as DBB1).

DBB1 is the first of three Design-Bid-Build (DBB) projects associated with the Airfield Safety Enhancement (ASE) Program at the Tucson International Airport.

“The ASE program has been a great opportunity for the 162d Wing to partner with the Tucson Airport Authority [TAA] and FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] to address long-standing airfield geometry issues that will increase airfield safety,” said Col. Greg Hoffman, 162nd Mission Support Group Commander. “We’ve been involved in this effort from the beginning, and have interfaced with the TAA design team to incorporate and fund ANG-specific elements as part of the project,” he said.

The cost of the ASE project is estimated at $350 million with some of the funding coming from the Air National Guard (ANG) via the 162nd Wing’s involvement in the joint venture. “This project was funded through a combination of FAA and Air National Guard funds, and aligning these funding streams into a single construction award was a significant effort,” said Hoffman. “For DBB1, $10.5M in design and construction funds were contributed by the ANG through a Military Construction Cooperative Agreement that allows the TAA to execute the funding on behalf of the ANG,” he said.

The ASE program includes demolition of runway 11R/29L (a 75-foot wide by 8,000-foot long general aviation runway that will be replaced with a new parallel runway, which will be 150-feet wide by 11,000 feet long), new taxiways and connector taxiways, installation of aircraft guidance systems and a modernization of the airfield geometry to meet current FAA standards.

Construction for the overall project is divided into four separate projects – (1) Construction Manager at Risk – Oversight of the new runway and taxiways; (2) DBB1 – Design-Bid Build of taxiways on the west side of the airfield; (3) DBB2 – Expansion of the safety area southeast of the new runway; and (4) DBB3 – Modernization of the existing commercial runway.

The ASE program is expected to transition the airfield at the Tucson International Airport into a new era of safety and provide redundancy with a second parallel runway that will serve the Southern Arizona region for decades into the future.

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