To keep its runways in top condition, the Salt Lake City Department of Airports performs regular maintenance—including asphalt overlays—to protect the safety, integrity and functionality of the runways. Salt Lake City Airport’s (SLC) airfield consists of three runways for airlines as well as a general aviation runway.
On July 31, 2017, SLC began an overlay project on runway 14/32, which is scheduled to be completed in early October, 2017. The first step in a runway overlay project is to remove the existing asphalt, which is recycled by spreading the asphalt in landscaped areas around the airfield.
Next, crews spread the new asphalt and wait for it to cure before beginning the grooving process. During this process, crews use a ride-on saw with multiple blades spaced and set to the proper depth. They drive the machine, usually with 10 to 30 blades, several times on the runway and connector areas. The main purpose of the groove is to shed water off the runway, allowing better contact for aircraft.
Lastly, lights are installed and the appropriate markings are painted on the runway.
Runways are named using numbers between 01 and 36, which is one tenth of the magnetic azimuth of the runway’s heading in degrees. For example, a runway numbered 09 points 90 degrees to the east.
Facts about SLC Airport runways:
- Runway 16L/34R is 12,003 feet long
- Runway 16R/34L is 12,000 feet long
- Runway 17/35 is 9,596 feet long
- Runway 14/32 is 4,900 feet long