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Auckland Airport Runway Work Complete

19 May 2004

Auckland Airport Runway Work Complete

The latest stage of Auckland Airport's runway rehabilitation programme is complete. During the last 38 days, aircraft have been using the stand-by runway while a section of the main runway has been rebuilt. Overnight, operations were moved back to the main runway and the stand-by runway reverted to being the main taxiway.

The work has been undertaken to replace the original 350mm thick concrete slabs constructed when the airport was built in 1965. The new half-metre thick concrete pavement will extend runway life in the rehabilitated areas by an expected 40 years. Upgrade work is being completed in sections over a period of years to minimise disruption to airfield activities.

This latest section, known as 'R5', has seen around 530 six-by-six metre concrete slabs lifted from the main runway and replaced. During the project five concrete trucks were used to deliver 1,422 loads to the site and over 23,000 tonnes of new concrete was placed. This operation generally ran 24 hours a day with an on-site plant manufacturing the concrete.

Old concrete removed from the runway is crushed and recycled for use in the construction of other pavements on the airport.

Auckland Airport chief executive officer, Don Huse, says, "The success of the works is a testament to good planning and to a very competent project group. This has been supported with a great team effort by all parties involved. From consulting engineers to contractors, Airways New Zealand, the airlines and the airport company, everyone has worked hard and with dedication to complete this project safely and with a minimum of disruption to normal flight operations".

"Even though we were faced with some rough weather for a few of the days, the work has been completed on time and with a minimum of fuss."

The next stage of the rehabilitation programme (the 'R4' section) will be undertaken around April/May next year. The final runway section to be rehabilitated is 'R6'. Work is planned for 2006, after which the entire load-bearing length of the original 1965 runway will have been replaced with the new, thicker, concrete sections.

ENDS


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