Rickenbacker’s improved runway opens amid global supply chain crunch

A plane takes off on Rickenbacker Airport’s improved runway.

The more than 12,000 foot primary runway at Rickenbacker International Airport is open after completing upgrades that will better serve the expanded operations of the world’s largest freighter aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-8F regularly flown by Cathay Pacific, Cargolux and other air carriers.

Multiple phases of Federal Aviation Administration grant funding paid for the improvements that included asphalt resurfacing to an advanced aircraft classification; construction of 40 foot shoulders and expanded blast pads; elocation/replacement of airfield navigational aids; and updated lighting and signage.

The improvements will aid growth over the next two decades, maximize efficiency of aircraft ground movement, and strengthen the Columbus Region’s global connectivity.

According to Rickenbacker Airport officials, the improved runway opens at a time when supply chain disruptions have impacted the entire freight industry. As one of the world’s only cargo-focused airports, Rickenbacker is a critical part of the supply chain as ocean backlogs, overseas production issues and rising ocean shipping costs are driving many companies to turn to airfreight.

The airport has an annual economic impact of $2.5 billion and over 15,000 jobs in Ohio.

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