As a part of CVG's New Heights strategic plan, solidifying and growing the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport's status as an "epicenter of e-commerce" remains a driving force.  Maintaining and building infrastructure on and around the CVG Airport campus is critical to delivering on that objective.  

Runway 9/27 Project Logo


Runway 9/27 is CVG’s longest and most utilized runways which directionally runs east/west and is typically heavily used during nighttime operations.  It is critical for air cargo operations, which supports jobs and economic vibrancy. This runway, one of four runways at CVG, needs rehabilitation including new asphalt, concrete, and lighting updates. This project has been planned for several years, and initial phases began in fall 2020.  Beginning in March 2021, lasting approximately six months,  Runway 9/27 will be closed for the rehabilitation - impacting aircraft landings and takeoffs during that time – moving much of that activity to other runways.

A project of this magnitude and complexity would typically take two construction seasons to complete.  CVG, the FAA and cargo stakeholders worked in partnership to ensure alignment of both funding and project schedules.  This approach, along with intensive upfront engineering and strategic execution planning, has enabled this project to be completed in one season, minimizing impact to nearby communities, cargo operations, and the overall 7,700-acre campus operation. 

Timeline Overview: Mid-March - October 2021

  • Runway closures: 
    • 9/27 closed entire project
    • 18R/36L closed thru mid-August 2021
    • 18C-36C closed briefly in late summer and early fall


  • Project represents a $69 million investment in airfield infrastructure, with 75% of the project funded by the FAA
  • Runway 9/27 is CVG’s longest runway at 12,000 feet, used especially by cargo carriers for the largest and heaviest aircraft
  • Team of 15+ licensed engineers completed the design of this project
  • Nearly 150 staff dedicated to project delivery


Runway 9/27 Project Map Overview - March 2021
Picture of Runway 9 27 - March 2 2021


  • Runway asphalt paving is equivalent to more than 70 lane-miles of asphalt highway resurfacing (4-inch depth)
    • Runway 9/27 is comprised of both asphalt and concrete. The typical thickness of pavement on the runway is 18 inches of concrete with 8 inches of asphalt on top. A typical roadway is 8 to 10 inches of asphalt total. Interstates are typically 15 inches of concrete.
  • 75 + miles of power cables replaced
  • 2,400 + airfield lights and 190+ illuminated signs replaced with new LED fixtures - a more energy efficient and sustainable option than traditional incandescent lighting



  • Low-grow grass will be planted as part of the project to reduce maintenance costs and emissions.
  • Spoils from grinding/milling the asphalt runway to be blended in subbase in new pavement section: 14,000 tons
  • Existing concrete to be removed, crushed and recycled as subbase: 36,000 tons
  • 60,000 tons of excavated soil and 65,000 tons of topsoil to be re-used on site.
  • Lighting makes up more than one-third of this project – CVG Airport converting to LED lights and signs which produces 350 fewer metric tons of CO2 emissions per year (equivalent to electricity use of 60 average homes per year). LED light fixtures are also expected to last 10 years instead of a few months as the current fixtures do.



  • Why is this project necessary, and why is it happening now?

Just like highways, runways require continued upkeep and maintenance. Since runways are used around the clock in all weather conditions by heavy aircraft, rehabilitation can be costly and time-consuming. Runway 9/27 is one of CVG’s most utilized runways and the airport’s preferred nighttime use runway.

Based on pavement condition and anticipated future utilization, especially by cargo operators, CVG has been preparing for several years to complete a major rehabilitation of Runway 9/27 in 2021. Working closely with the FAA and cargo operators, this project has been condensed to a one-construction-season closure (normally would take two years for an extensive rehab project like this). This project will help ensure CVG’s airfield can continue to handle all types of aircraft and continue generating jobs and significant output for the region’s economy.

  •  Who will be most impacted during the months of construction on this project?

Runway 9/27 will be closed starting in March 2021 through the fall. Runway 18R/36L, which is the airport’s western-most runway, will also be closed at points during that time. Therefore, communities north and south of CVG may notice an increase in aviation noise in 2021, including between the hours of 10pm and 7am. Communities to the east and west of CVG may not experience as much aviation noise as usual during this project.

  • Who makes decisions regarding flight paths?

It is important to remember that the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower and approach control are responsible for safe movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air. Safety will always be the priority that guides air traffic decisions. Even with Runway 9/27 closed during this time, the FAA will follow established flight corridors and procedures, accounting for wind and weather, time of day, and aircraft type.  More information on this topic can be found here.  

  • Will there be an increase in noise as a result of the construction?

Areas to the north and south of the airport may experience a temporary increase in both daytime and nighttime aircraft noise as a result of the runway rehabilitation.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.  Click here to learn more about aviation noise.



  • New Heights Strategic Plan
  • CVG Blogs:
    • On the Horizon blog serves up the latest stories and news from CVG Airport. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast, have a vested interest in the airport or just love to travel, you’re invited to follow along.
    • CVG@Work showcases the people and talents that keep the airport business moving.
    • Jet with Jay shares stories from radio personality Jay Kruz with Mix 94.9FM on his travel journeys and how you can see the world from CVG Airport.  
  • Noise abatement at CVG Airport


Runway 9/27 Project Overview

Picture of Runway 9 27 - March 2 2021