Work begins on base runway

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WORK has started on a $15 million US Air Force project to extend a taxiway at RAF Mildenhall.

The project will see the extension of the taxiway to connect with the east end of the run-off for the base’s main runway.

A US Air Force spokesman said the project will provide direct access for heavy aircraft to takeoff from the overrun, without reversing.

The project, which is scheduled for completion by April 2013, started last week with the expansion of the fenceline on the field closest to the A1101 roundabout at the east end of the base.

Mark Poynter, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager, said: “The construction of the taxiway extension will allow swifter takeoffs for heavier aircraft.

“Currently, heavy aircraft have to back-taxi to the end of the overrun and turn around. This puts stresses on the runway and the undercarriage of the aircraft.

“The extension will allow swifter aircraft movements to support the flying mission.”

The work will not affect the local population, according to the spokesman.