Second year Plymouth Aviation CTE students are learning about the runway markings while renewing the pavement markings on the runway at the Plymouth Municipal Airport. Airport Manager Bill Sheley said weather and snow removal operations deteriorate the markings considerably.
The second-year students are all seniors and several are going on to college for careers in aviation.
Students recently repainted the “Hold Short” marking. This is a critical runway – taxiway threshold marking. All pilots are supposed to stop before crossing these markings to make sure there is no other traffic using the runway, unless cleared by air traffic control at larger airports. Sheley said, “Think of it as a stop sign at a roadway intersection. It is also an area that a pilot should announce they are clear of the runway after crossing onto the taxiway.”
The airport manager said there are several more types of markings they will be painting during the nice weather over the next few weeks. Sheley said it is common for runway markings to be new after repaving then only every 10 to 15 years to be repainted.
The saying, a picture is worth a thousand words applies to the pictures provided by Sheley showing the dramatic difference. The clear, bright markings is something that all pilots notice and appreciate and make for safer airport operations.
Having the Aviation CTE students help with this project saved the airport as much as $30,000 if they had used a general aviation contractor to do the markings. The project involves using pavement marking paint and spreading glass beads to make it highly reflective at night.
Sheley said, “These types of maintenance projects look really good for us in the eyes of those that approve major funding when we request funding.”