COPA 149 Turf Runway Project 11/29

Abandoned Runway 11-29 Before Restoration as a Turf Runway

Google Earth image of abandoned runway 11/29

Historical Notes

The Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport was constructed in 1942 as a field for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It was built as a large triangle with three active runways. After the war, it became a civilian airport. Over time, the surface of runway 11-29 deteriorated to the point where it was closed in the 1980's.

A closeup of the surface condition is shown below.

Badly deteriorated asphalt surface of runway 11/29 before rehabilitation as a turf runway

Although some initiatives to re-open the runway have taken place over the years, nothing concrete was done until about 2004 when a move to return the runway was presented to the airport commission. It was found that opening the runway with a new asphalt surface was cost-prohibitive. In 2017 COPA 149 spearheaded an initiative to re-open 11-29 as a turf runway. COPA 149 worked with the Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport Commission to develop a workable plan. COPA 149 took on the task of soliciting donations and COPA 149 members provided many hours of volunteer work to push the project ahead. The project was entirely funded through donations and the volunteer labour and equipment provided by members of COPA 149 and River Bend Farms at no cost to the NCDRA. This initiative enhances safety, increases the usefulness of the airport and adds value to a public asset. COPA 149 has taken on the responsibility for the continued maintenance of the runway at no cost to the commission, and has purchased the equipment necessary for the continued upkeep of the runway.

A new roadway/taxiway behind the existing hangars provided soil for the turf runway, obviating the expense of disposing of the brownfield soil. The road project saved expense, while the airport gained value from the restoration of the third runway. The roadway opened opportunities for new hangar construction, leading to increased revenue for the airport.

To help COPA 149 with the ongoing expense of maintaining the 11/29 runway please consider making a tax-deductible donation using the link below.

Slide Show: Timeline for the COPA 149 11/29 Runway Restoration Project

Click on the arrows to view the pictures

Extended Slide Show for the COPA 149 11/29 Runway Restoration Project

Click on the arrows to view the pictures