VAN NUYS (CBS) — Businesses and vendors breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday after officials at Van Nuys Airport agreed to drastically cut down the number of days the main runway will be closed for major improvements.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the 17-week shutdown initially proposed would have been a severe economic setback for the community.

Plans to upgrade the 8,000-foot-long runway have been scaled back so as to limit the closure 10 days and 26 nights instead of the much lengthier initial proposal.

“We feel that going from 17 straight weeks to 10 days of full closure is a big, big victory for both us and the city,” said Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association.

The project — which is tentatively slated to begin sometime in 2013 — includes an asphalt overlay and reconstruction of the most worn out sections of the runway that sees more than 300,000 takeoffs and landings every year.

Since March, Castagna said both tenants and other local groups have made progress in negotiations with airport operator Los Angeles World Airports to curtail the proposed closures.

No details have been finalized ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline, and any proposal would have to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.


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