Birmingham airport

Nation Transportation Safety Board /

An audio recording from the control tower at Birmingham's airport shows workers were trying to reopen the main runway when a UPS cargo jet crashed while trying to land on an alternate runway, killing two pilots.

The recording shows an air traffic controller asked a Birmingham Airport Authority worker about reopening the runway less than two minutes before the Airbus A300-600 jet went down on Aug. 14.

The main runway was closed for maintenance, and the UPS aircraft attempted to land on a shorter runway. The jet clipped trees and slammed into a hill near the runway.

A project to modernize the terminal at Birmingham's airport is about two-thirds complete. reports ( that Tom Wesley of Birmingham's airport authority provided board members with an update on the project this week.

He said the airport authority has spent 67 percent of the $201.6 million allotted for the entire two-phased project at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Authorities say the project will mean more amenities for passengers and also bring the airport in line with post-Sept. 11 security standards.