Easing Access at Mildenhall

Engineers began a construction project to improve access to the main runway at RAF Mildenhall, England. Under the $15 million project, contractors will extend taxiway alpha to the far end of Runway 29, allowing heavier aircraft to roll directly onto the overrun for takeoff, according to a base release. “Currently, heavy aircraft have to back-taxi to the end of the overrun and turn around,” explained Mark Poynter, 100th Civil Engineering Squadron project manager. “This puts stresses on the runway and the undercarriage of the aircraft,” he added. Joining the taxiway directly to the end of the runway will “allow swifter aircraft movements,” and will reduce engine noise for the surrounding community, said Poynter. Mildenhall’s perimeter road will be closed until the extension project is completed sometime next April, states the Aug. 1 release. (Mildenhall report by Karen Abeyasekere)