Was reading through the minutes from the August Airport Advisory Committee meeting, and included was word that Charlotte/Douglas International Airport has finally gotten federal funding to build the south extension of Taxiway D, the taxiway to the east of Runway 18L/36R which serves the Air National Guard and general aviation operations. And I say finally for a reason — the extension was first recommended in a 1995 study of possible taxiway system improvements at the airport.

In any case, the FAA is paying 75 percent of the $6.7 million cost of the extension, which will make the taxiway run the entire length of the runway. This is a significant safety improvement — ANG C-130s and business jets don’t have to cross the runway to get to Taxiway C on the other side if they need the full length of the runway and are taking off to the north — and increases overall airport efficiency. It also could help in a future BRAC round.

Note that the Google Map is funky — the large scale may is several years old but if you zoom in to the more detailed views, it jumps to a newer image (summer 2011) that shows the cement north extension of Taxiway D that was completed about two years ago.