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Those planes you may suddenly be hearing? Here’s an explanation.

Runway work at St. Pete/Clearwater International could be bringing the noise your way.
Flights taking off or landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport are using the airport's secondary runway That's the one shown here in roughly the 2 o'clock position. The change will take place as a contractor works on a nearly year-long job to repave the airport's main north-south runway. [Visit St. Pete/Clearwater]
Flights taking off or landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport are using the airport's secondary runway That's the one shown here in roughly the 2 o'clock position. The change will take place as a contractor works on a nearly year-long job to repave the airport's main north-south runway. [Visit St. Pete/Clearwater] [ Visit St. Pete/Clearwater ]
Published Jul. 28, 2020

Neighborhoods throughout the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area may be hearing more air traffic — and there’s a reason for that.

The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport closed its main runway about two weeks ago for its next phase of construction and is using its secondary runway, which points in a different direction. Work continues until November.

In the meantime, residents of Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Redington Shores, Redington Beach and North Redington Beach may experience increased noise from incoming flights. Community members can contact the airport’s Noise Affairs Office at 727-453-7877 with concerns or complete a noise complaint form online.

The airport first closed its primary runway in May for four days, soon after announcing the construction project.

In the month of June, airport passenger traffic was down 38 percent compared to last year, as the airport restored flights to almost all of its normal 53 destinations for the first full month since the coronavirus caused travel shutdowns this spring. By comparison, April and May saw 97 percent and 61 percent declines in traffic, respectively.

According to an airport news release, the airport is paying for the $24.1 million construction project with help from a $19.75 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and $900,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation.

After the current phase of construction, the airport will return to using Runway 18-36 as its main runway. The project will add new runway lights and paint markings, as well as asphalt pavement rehabilitation. Overall construction is planned to be completed by spring 2021.