Airport Road Realignment/RSA West End

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The project is for the airport road realignment at the Amata Kabua International Airport. The only road linking the community of Laura (located west ofthe airport) to the communities of Delap and Rita (located to the east), transverses through airport propertyon the west side ofthe Runway 7. A segment of this road was located within the runway safety area (RSA). The RSA is defined as an area 500 feet wide and 1,000 feet long from the end of the runway. Prior to the project, the road was approximately 400 feet from the runway centerline. The project is to realign the roadway outside of the RSA, to comply with the United States Federal Aviation’s Administration (FAA) standards. The primary purpose of the project is for public safety, as the RSA is for the safety of airplanes that undershoot, over-run, or veer off the runway also providing better access to fire fighting and rescue equipment during such incidents. The RSA will also provide protection from vehicles that were previously vulnerable to jet blast from planes preparing for departure. The project will realign the roadway, expand the airport operations area and create a safe and secure RSA complying with FAA design standards.

The Airport Road Realignment will vastly improve the safety of aircraft operations at the airport as well as protecting the public by keeping them away from hazardous areas in close proximity to the airport.

RSA Project Site (west end of the airport)

RSA Project Site (west end of the airport)

Benefits of the RSA Project

The construction of the RSA results in a number of benefits to the RMI and its citizens. Some of the highlighted benefits are discussed briefly below.

Public Safety from Jet Blasts

One of the primary needs for the project is to enhance the safety of the traveling public on the main road of Majuro from aircraft jet blasts. This video demonstrates the potential danger posed by the powerful blasts generated by aircraft jet engines.

Compliance to International Safety and Security Standards

This project will significantly improve safety and security at MAJ and will allow the airport to meet ICAO and FAA safety standards to ensure continued use by United and other airlines such as Asia Pacific Airlines and other planes that stop to refuel here.

Economic Stimulus

Indirect economic benefits will be seen with tourism and trade. If improvements to the international airport are neglected, then it would deteriorate and the RMI would suffer. For example, the recently-concluded Pacific Islands Forum could not have happened in the RMI without a reliable and safe airport. The airport is a key infrastructure to the continuing of Majuro as the capital and business hub and center of the RMI. It is therefore very important to the people of the RMI.

ETOPS for Emergency Diversions

AKIA is an important airport in the Pacific Ocean for extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS). ETOPS is necessary for aircraft with only two engines, i.e. United Airlines B737 aircraft, in the event of an engine failure during flight. The AKIA is in the flight path of a number of airlines and could usefully provide emergency landing facilities to these flights. For an airport to be designated as an ETOPS alternate airfield, it must have the capabilities, services and facilities to safely support an ETOPS operation. AKIA qualifies as an ETOPS alternate airfield. Other ETOPS alternate airfields in the Pacific include Kwajalein, Wake and Midway Islands and these have been used a number of times for emergencies in the past. However, Kwajalein and Wake airports are US Military bases and therefore have restrictions to the use of their airports to civilian aircraft operators.

Jobs Created

115 people are employed directly and indirectly by the contractor because of this RSA project. 60 would’ve been unemployed without the RSA project. As of March 31, 2013, $630,000 in taxes had been paid to RMI and MISSA by the contractor. $500,000 in fuel and water purchases from MEC and MWSC for equipment used by the contractor on the project.

New Picnic Shelters

Three to six picnic shelters are planned to be installed: three adjacent to the future dredge site revetment and three west of the extended RSA project site. Final plans yet to be finalized and are subject to change. The shelters will be made up of fiberglass material to ensure prolonged use. Each will have its own barbecue grill. The facilities will be available for the public to use. Thank you to Lyon Associates for supplying three picnic tables and Matson for transporting the tables from the US West Coast to Majuro free of charge.

Picnic Shleter     Picnic Shelter-Roof Plan

A draft of the picnic area layout at the airport may be downloaded here (PDF).

For a PDF copy of the Environmental Supplemental Document for the RSA Project, please click here RSA Supplemental Document. Due to file size, Appendix 3 to 6 of the document were not included. Each appendix can be furnished upon request by contacting the RMIPA Director at jack.chonggum@rmipa.com.

Location Amata Kabua International Airport, Majuro Atoll
Status Ongoing
Start Date 2011
End/Estimated Completion Date Ongoing
Funded By FAA, RMIPA
Project Classification Safety


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Mission Statement

To contribute to the economic and social development of the Republic of the Marshall Islands by establishing, maintaining and managing efficient commercial airport and seaport facilities

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