Is it required to close a runway if the paint has been removed for resealing the asphalt?

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting question! If you are able to, it might be helpful if you could provide additional information for your question, such as whether the airport is public or private, or what country or jurisdiction you are wondering about. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Sep 22 '16 at 2:16

Not Necessarily

While some regulations or guidance material may call for some or most runways to be closed during maintenance or construction work, such as marking removal for asphalt reseal, this is certainly not always the case.

If markings are non-standard, faded, or removed, for any reason, the condition should be documented in a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) so that pilots and other interested parties will be aware of the condition and prepared for the non-standard situation.

An example of such a NOTAM includes this one from Randolph AFB (KRND), where some markings on runway 14L/32R are missing dues to removal and repaint during maintenance or construction work.


Note that runway 14L/32R is not closed during this work. However, the parallel runway, 14R/32L, is closed:



IT relies on being a Part 139 airport, mainly. the Marking Standard, AC 150/5340-1L states the guidelines and standards for marking are the only method of compliance with airport certified under Title 14 CFR Part 139. Part 139 is the certification and clasification of passenger airports. Markings are also required for any airport receiving Federal grant money through the AIP Program. Basically, if you are not a passenger airport with scheduled or non-scheduled service of aircraft with 30 or more passengers, or if your sealing project is not funded through a Federal AIP grant, you may leave temporary markings off as long as NOTAMS are issued to this effect to the pilots - that the runway is unmarked and they are on their own discretion whether to use or not. At least, this is my understanding. See the AC. I should also point out the "Operational Safety on Airports During Construction has the same compliance requirement - AC 150/5370-2L - applying to Part 139 and AIP grant program airports. This is why you may see non- standard markings or no markings (grass field) on private airports.

But there is a secondary consideration - State Funding Grants. You may need to check with the State Aviation Responsibility if they are paying in part for the work as if you need to meet the FAA requirement. Some states may be lenient due to cost. State grants are applied on a matching basis, and it may cost a local GA only 1/10 the cost when receiving a State grant for the work. Since even a simple seal and repaint project can cost $100K or much more, the decision to close a runway may rest with the State agency. You see, most GA's no matter how small are eligible at times for FAA AIP or State matching grants, and this drives what they do, and why most non-commercial GA's still meet the FAA AC's for marking and construction safety.

Any corrections gladly welcomed.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! Not a bad first answer, if you haven't already, I would invite you to take the tour and read the help center to see what makes a good/bad answer. $\endgroup$ – Notts90 is off to codidact.org Aug 31 '17 at 20:06

Yes, of course you have to close it since it falls under the runway closure reason of "Obliterated or faded markings on active operational areas." From this document. The "Obliterated markings" is what would cover the removal of the markings for any reason.

And with even simple common sense, why would a runway under construction be even open?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not entirely sure the "you have to close it" bit is correct, at least in FAA-land (What regulation mandates closure? That AC says to "consider" potential hazards). It's unsual to have a runway open with no markings, and if it were open a NOTAM would be expected indicating it was unmarked and noting any applicable restrictions (an unmarked runway couldn't be used for instrument procedures for example), but I can't find a regulation that requires closure... $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Sep 22 '16 at 0:57
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    $\begingroup$ Of note, the old quick reference for airfield standards (from 2011) used to include procedures for opening an unmarked runway. The current edition (2015) no longer includes that language though. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Sep 22 '16 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ 1) Advisory Circulars such as that which you reference are advisory, not regulatory. 2) While some or all public use airports may need to be closed due to regulatory requirements or might be closed in this circumstance due to prudent choice, I can imagine many situations—including at public use airports—where leaving a runway open despite having not markings would be beneficial to the public good. Construction projects can occur in many phases, and marking removal might well be followed by a period of inactivity in which the runway could be used. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Sep 22 '16 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ 3) the AC you cite does not give "obliterated markings" as a runway closure reason, but as an item to look for in safety inspections. In reading that AC I have yet to see any justification for this answer. 4) The AC you cite does specifically, and at length, specify when and how a runway under construction may remain open or partially open. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Sep 22 '16 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ This answer seems to be specifically about FAA regulations, even though the original question does not specify which country is being asked about. $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Sep 23 '16 at 13:44

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