The project will extend Taxiway D from the southern edge of Runway 15-33 — the main takeoff runway — to the western end of Runway 8-26, the airport’s main landing path.
The project also includes the relocation of the airport service road, relocation of the guard kiosk, reconstruction of the asphalt pavement and an added tie-in to Taxiway D that will allow service planes, such as UPS aircraft, to turn out instead of wait behind commercial planes.
“The project is the most important safety project we have done at this airport,” said Dan Feger deputy executive director of the airport authority.
“It will eliminate the need for planes. . . to back-taxi on Runway 8-26 in order to exit.”
Back-taxiing, according to airport officials, is the procedure by which planes maneuver to their ultimate destination after landing, often remaining on the original runway forcing planes in the air to wait until the process is complete.
“We don’t have that intense a schedule that this is a huge problem, but, ideally, you don’t want to have to this,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said.
“This [extension] would allow planes to taxi and turn off in a normal fashion.”
In addition to expediency, safety was also a prevailing reason for the project, commissioners said.
“The realignment of Taxiway D provides a large paved area north of airport buildings where aircraft can rapidly leave on approach and gives them a target in cases of trouble to avoid turning into the terminal,” said Feger.
In addition to the realignment, officials are also considering extending the Engineered Material Arresting System that lies as a buffer between the runway and Hollywood Boulevard.
This would create a bigger target to catch and encourage aircraft in trouble to avoid heading for the terminal building, according to staff reports.
In 2002, a Southwest plane overran the runway while landing at Bob Hope Airport. It crashed through a metal blast wall, ultimately coming to a rest on Hollywood Boulevard.