Signs of Spring: Runway Maintenance
Did you know that every single line on both of our runways gets a fresh coat of paint every spring?
The center lines get an extra coat in the fall, because they see the most wear (imagine all those planes landing day after day…) but every spring, each and every line is repainted to ensure visibility.
This runway typically sees less traffic than our longer runway, but all those landings still take a toll on the lines.
Yesterday, Lester was in the hotseat of the “Line Lazer” (yes, that’s the brand name of the machine). Although Lester’s been with the Fredericton International Airport Authority for many years as a seasonal employee, this year he was promoted to a full-time, year-round position, and that means this was his first time painting the lines.
Of course, he wasn’t out there by himself. A small team goes out to place protective boards that ensure the ends of the lines are exactly straight, re-load paint in the machine, and maintain contact with the tower as needed.
I was initially surprised to learn that the process of repainting all the lines on both runways can take as little as two days, if conditions are right. With 14,010 feet of runway (a little over 4 kilometers), that’s a lot of painting! But after watching the crew in action, I could see that they moved like a well-oiled machine.
The guys who actually paint the lines tend to give themselves a hard time about this job, though – it’s surprisingly difficult to get the lines exactly on top of the previous ones, and they’re perfectionists.
I think Lester did a pretty good job!