TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) – After the grand opening of the new runway at Travis Air Force Base, hundreds wanted to do something that’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity — run it.

“Most of the airmen on base don’t get an opportunity to work on the airfield,” First Lt. Vanessa Mills said. “It’s a very rare occurrence.”

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Sr. Master Sgt. Maryann Navarro-Davis has been in the air force for almost two decades, and didn’t even know how to find the runway.

“A lot of the people on base have never been here, so we had to draw a map with directions so they don’t get lost,” she said.

The runway has actually been around for years and was recycled to create the new one.

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“Just rubberized it right in place, broke it up and then put concrete up,” First Lt. Ryan Hill said.

One new addition is a landing zone that is used for combat training. The other closest landing zone is in Washington, saving the base time and money.

“That two and a half hour flight, we don’t need it anymore and we’ll save $7.3 million a year in fuel,” said Hill.

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The new runway was a $68 million project and was a six year process, with three years of construction.