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Auckland Airport runway work complete

17 May 2005

Auckland Airport runway work complete

The latest stage of Auckland Airport’s runway rehabilitation programme is complete.

During the last 42 days, aircraft have been using the stand-by runway while concrete pavement replacement work occurred on a section of the main runway. Overnight on Sunday, operations were moved back to the main runway and the standby runway reverted to being the main taxiway.

The work replaced sections of the original 300mm 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 has been completed in sections over a number of years to minimise disruption to airfield activities. One further section remains to be completed next year.

This latest section, known as ‘R4’, has seen around 404 six-by-six metre concrete slabs lifted from the main runway and replaced. During the project six concrete trucks were used to deliver approximately 1066 loads to the site and over 20,000 tonnes of new concrete was placed.

The 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 Don Huse says, “Working in a critical and time-constrained environment requires lengthy logistical planning and very important team work.

“We had a large number of people and companies working on this project, from consulting engineers to contractors, Airways New Zealand, the airlines and the airport company, and everyone has worked successfully as a team to complete this project with a minimum of disruption to normal flight operations”.

As the runway rehabilitation work was occurring, the airport also undertook preparatory work for the arrival of the Airbus 380, including widening the runway shoulders by 7.5 metres on either side. “It was planned to widen up to half the length of the runway this year, but work progressed ahead of schedule and a further 900 lineal metres of new shoulder was constructed.”

The next stage of the rehabilitation programme (the ‘R6’ section) will be undertaken around April/May next year. This will be the final runway rehabilitation project in this series of work, at which point the entire load bearing length of the original 1965 runway and the 1974 extension will have been replaced with new, thicker, concrete sections. The entire runway will also have been widened, in time for the arrival of the A380 in late-2006.


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