Desert Heat is No Match for AvTurf
In the summer of 2009, AvTurf installed an artificial test section at KWI as a potential method to reduce the effects of obscured visibility from sand. With a dry and arid environment where temperatures can easily exceed 125o F, natural turf is not a feasible option due to the significant amount of irrigation required to support growth year round.
While the test location does not extend a great distance along runway 33R, it has demonstrated the ability to lower maintenance requirements through the reduction of sand or FOD encroaching on the runway area adjacent to the site. The AvTurf test section proved that it is not only successful at reducing the spread of sand along runway edges but also increases color delineation between the runway and natural environment. This added safety feature allows pilots to better gauge approaches to KWI, especially during or after a sandstorm.
Since the AvTurf test area was installed, KWI has included artificial turf applications in all major construction projects where aircraft transit is required.