Happy Air Traffic Control Day

National Air Traffic Control Day, July 6, is a day to recognize and appreciate the men and women who work hard to keep us safe in the skies! Air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring safe flights by navigating, monitoring, and guiding aircrafts around airports throughout the United States. The next time you are on a flight, thank your flight attendant and pilot for all they do to keep us safe while travelling.

On this day, we highlight the work it takes to keep all aspects of air travel safe, including runway construction and maintenance. One such project recently took place at Coles County Memorial Airport (MTO). Just like many roads, airport runaways may experience longitudinal joint failure. When runways are poorly paved with insufficient materials, cracks can form over time.  Therefore, it is important to apply a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM), such as J-Band®, to ensure a long-lasting, safe runway.

Coles County Memorial Airport Project

On June 16, 2023, our Specialty Products team performed a J-Band® application on Coles County Memorial runway in Mattoon, Illinois. The areas included in the application were Taxiways C, C1, and C2. This job began around 2:00pm at Taxiway C1 with Illiana operating the distributor. Three bands, or strips of J-Band® were applied to each taxiway, each strip about 12.5 feet apart.

After the J-Band® application, the asphalt paving operation began on June 19. Howell Construction was hired as contractor for this project. Paving equipment used included a CAT AP 1055F paver, Volvo DD 120C breakdown roller, Hamm HD+110 intermediate roller, and a Hamm GRW 280 pneumatic roller. Paving began about 8:30 am on Taxiway C1 and Taxiway C2 about 11:50am.

Taxiway C1
Taxiway C2

Airport Information

Coles County Memorial Airport (MTO) is a publicly owned and operated aviation airport. Located in east central Illinois, the airport serves as a gateway to the county and as a hub for recreational fliers, corporate and business fliers, and medical specialists. Additionally, MTO offers educational tours, hosts meetings and gatherings, and local events.

Coles County is considered region four when looking at the region map, and Illinois Department of Transportation Districts 6 and 7. Region four is in south central Illinois, and spans the width of the state, on the border of Missouri and Indiana. Airports in this area have supported 18,851 jobs, $900.7 million in labor income, $1.5 billion in value added, and $3.4 billion in total economic impact in 2019.

Coles County Airport Work in 2021

During June 2021, we completed a 7,300-foot J-Band project at the Coles County Airport. The application J-Band was 18” wide and 1.51 lb./ft for the 2” surface mix, P401, PG64-22, N40. This was over a recently applied and tacked level binder mix.

You can read more about the 2021 J-Band project here via the News Tab, or at this link:

Thank you again to all the air traffic controllers, electronic technicians, engineers, and others who go beyond to ensure our safety. Happy National Air Traffic Control Day!




Editor’s NOTE: In Illinois, you may also see VRAM referred to as a Longitudinal Joint Sealant (LJS).

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