Two aircraft were able to complete simultaneous journeys over the magnetic South Pole earlier this year, positioning them for the rare honor of the Polar Diamond Circumnavigator Diploma. This amazing accomplishment is partially owed to the reliability of (extremely) rural gravel runways.
New investments from the Canadian Government in gravel compactors for Manitoba’s airports will lead to stronger runways, but compaction alone won’t be enough to ensure easy landings and takeoffs on these unpaved surfaces.
These cockpit videos gives viewers an opportunity to see what it’s like to do takeoffs and landings on gravel runways in some of the world’s most beautiful, intrepid locations. They also show just how important dust control is to the safety of these pilots.
Excessive rain in a small Manitoba town made the local airport’s gravel runway nearly unusable. Effective dust control can protect unpaved runways like this one from even the harshest conditions.
In light of funding shortfalls on both the federal and local level, some Saskatchewanians are taking runway maintenance into their own hands. Most of Saskatchewan’s airports don’t see all that much traffic — less than 1,000 passengers per airport annually, in fact.