The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is undergoing two projects to expand its cargo apron and develop a taxiway at the site of a runway.
The western portion of the decommissioned Runway 09/27 will now be converted into a taxiway to provide aircraft access.
“Because of the amount of aircraft all over the airfield, we are always looking for new ways for aircraft to taxi to Runways 18/36 and 04/22 to lessen the possibilities of gridlock on the airport as we get busier,” the airport staff wrote in an emailed response to the St. Pete Catalyst.
Runway 09/27 was decommissioned by the airport in 2015, as the Federal Aviation Administration was no longer providing grant funding for crosswind runways.
Since 2019, the airport has received $4.5 million in funds from the Florida Department of Transportation for the taxiway project. The airport will also be contributing $4.5 million from its own pockets for the project.
The project is one part of the airport’s overall master plan to increase its capacity as it continues to serve more passengers and airlines.
The airport is also expanding the terminal parking apron to create a remain-over-night (RON) aircraft parking area between Runway 09 and Taxiway T.
“We are not building any of this for a cargo company. This new construction can be used for aircraft parking or cargo operations, but we anticipate it being used for aircraft parking that cannot park at a gate,” the airport staff wrote.
The airport filed stormwater permit applications for the projects.
The planned projects come as the airport is readying to embark on a $106 million terminal expansion.