Published: Jul 25, 2011 11:31 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 25, 2011 4:28 PM EDT

NAPLES, Fla. - Monday, the highly debated runway extension at the Naples Airport broke ground.

In March, residents argued the extension would eventually lead to bigger, louder planes; however, city council approved the project. Then, it was almost halted yet again with today's FAA shut down, but the Airport Authority was able to get necessary plans approved just in time.

$3.2 million in airport fees will pay to extend the runway 800 feet on the north end, and 510 feet on the south end. Airport Authority Director Ted Soliday says it will make for safer landings and quieter take offs. Plus, commercial airlines may consider returning for regularly scheduled flights.

Right now, the main runway is closed while crews prepare to extend the north side by 800 feet. The south side will be expanded another 510 feet. The changes will provide planes with more paved area to come to a stop.

Soliday says the extension has caught the interest of Delta to become a commercial carrier for the airport.

The construction should wrap up by Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, some planes too large to land on the other runway here will have to land at R.S.W.