COLUMBUS — Columbus Air Force Base has reopened its 12,000-foot long center runway.
The $32-million project involved replacing 10,000 feet of old runway with a 10-inch thick, 200-foot wide concrete surface.
The runway was built in 1959. CAFB officials say less than 20 percent pavement life remained on the asphalt surface before construction began in March.
Col. Jim Sears, the 14th Flying Training Wing commander, says more than 12,000 pilots from more than 50 countries began aviation careers on the center runway. He says they all left tire marks and a few rough landings that took their toll on the runway.
While the center runway was closed for construction, Sears says some of the base’s planes and crews operated out of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport.