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A major construction project is underway at IND with a significant economic impact. The project, Runway 5R-23L and Taxiway D Strengthening and Capacity Enhancement, uses innovative construction methods and has first-of-its-kind sustainability measures.

The end result of this project gives the airport long-term stability and sustainability for future growth accommodating larger and more modern aircraft from passenger and cargo carriers, including FedEx who call who call this airport home and tout the world’s second largest FedEx operation and the nation’s eighth largest cargo facility.

Construction Progress

The IAA will share periodic construction updates, giving a bird's eye view of the progress and showing the full extent of this massive runway construction project.

Watch the recap video from phase one construction completed in 2022.

Economic Impact

  • $190 million construction project (covering all three phases)
  • Creating more than 3,200 jobs
  • Phase one and two committed to spending approximately $38.6 million with 34 diverse businesses
  • IAA has secured more than $100 million for the project through FAA Airport Improvement Program grants

Sustainability Highlights & Environmental Impact

  • Reducing energy consumption with LED airfield lighting and signage
  • Conserving resources and materials, including recycled concrete to be used in runway base
  • Reducing emissions and fuel use during construction and operation
  • FAA-approved concrete mix design that includes carbon sequestration technology
  • Reducing traffic impacts on local roads by performing concrete crushing and other construction activities on site
  • Mitigating for noise, light, and visual impacts on surrounding properties

Award-Winning Sustainable Infrastructure

  • Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, Envision Platinum Award
  • This is the institution's highest award for sustainability and resiliency
  • First airfield project in the world to receive this prestigious recognition
  • ENVISION certification ensures the delivery of infrastructure that tackles climate change, addresses public health needs, creates jobs, and spurs economic recovery

Advancing Women in Transportation

The IAA hosted a tour with the Indianapolis Chapter of WTS International (Advancing Women in Transportation), featuring some of the female leads on this historic project.

Learn about WTS Indianapolis

Young Innovators Quest

Through the Diversity & Innovation Institute, the IAA engaged with the Young Innovators Quest (YiQ) program giving an opportunity for high school students interested in STEM to learn more about this project.

Learn more about YiQ

INDOT Graduate Program

As another educational opportunity, the IAA invited members from the INDOT Office of Aviation, Multimodal Division, and Graduate Engineer Development program to learn more about this project.

Learn more about the INDOT Graduate Program

Additional Insight into the S Runway Reconstruction

Click the drop downs below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Runway 5R/23L began operations in 1989 and has been appropriately maintained and rehabilitated in the more than three decades of its use. However, the pavement has reached the end of its useful life and requires reconstruction.

Overall, the reconstruction of this runway is a three-year project broken down into three phases. We're currently in the second phase, with work anticipated to be complete by the end of October 2023. Phase three construction is anticipated to occur between April and October 2024. 

  • Phase one completed in 2022

The IAA has worked tirelessly with project partners, airline carriers, FAA Air Traffic Control, and more to ensure no disruption in service at IND. While Runway 5R-23L is temporarily closed during construction, aircraft will use the airport’s runways (5L/23R) and (14/32).

From now to approximately late October 2023, runway 5R-23L will be temporarily closed for reconstruction. As a result, aircraft will use the airport’s runways (5L/23R) and (14/32). The increased use of these runways may cause some citizens to notice more aircraft in the skies near their homes or business. 

To reach the IAA to provide a noise comment, please call 317.487.5000.

The existing runway pavement is being removed down to the dirt. Then, the top 8 inches are stabilized to provide a solid platform for building the rest of the section. The new runway pavement comprises 6 inches of recycled stone, 5 inches of asphalt, 22 inches of concrete, and dowel bars to tie the concrete together and provide load transfer. The entire pavement section acts as one cohesive unit. 

To put it into perspective, the project will use enough concrete to replace the smallest pyramid in Giza, which is equivalent to building a two-lane highway from Indianapolis to Terre Haute. 

Innovative Thinking

“This is no mere rehabilitation. This is a fundamental reconstruction and strengthening of this critical asset. Indianapolis has long been on the cutting edge of innovative thinking in everything from management to economic and environmental sustainability as well as engineering design.” - Elliott Black, FAA Director of Airport Policy

Watch the airport's 2022 end of year video to learn more.