US Air Force Uses Taxiway as Runway at Hill Base

U.S. Air Force pilots are making use of taxiway, a route for aircraft at an airport linking runways and hangars, as a runway at Hill Air Force Base.

Although the Hill Air Force Base runway has been shut for several weeks because of a primary runway reconstruction task, that doesn’t mean that everyone flying operations had to be canceled.

The runway at Hill AFB has been shut for most of the summer, requiring test pilots to temporarily use the taxiway as a runway, per a statement made by Air Force.

With the F-35A Lightning II’s from the active-duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings being deployed during the same time, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex nonetheless had to get jet in and out of the base on a daily basis.

For this to happen, pilots from the 514th Flight Test Squadron had to use the taxiway that runs lateral to the runway.

At 2.5 miles long, the taxiway is long enough, it’s just slim in most areas and isn’t as smooth a surface as a runway is planned to be.

Using the taxiway also meant touchdown and taking off much closer to buildings that are situated to the west side of the taxiway, which triggered crosswinds to affect the plane in a much different manner.

With working hours starting from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., summertime brought moderate climate allowing the pilots to function in and out of the base without using instrument touchdown aides.

The base runway resumed July 29. Some construction will continue on the south ramp during the coming weeks.

By Brooks Schroth

Brooks is a 25-year technology sector veteran with a background in enterprise software, market research, electronics, mobility, and digital imaging. He has been a photographer and developed remote control plane since highschool. Further, Brooks combined his ardor for photography and aeronautics in 1992 by learning aerial photography from human-crewed aircraft.

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