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Runway Resurfacing: Auckland Airport Brings Forward Next Major Runway Maintenance Project

Auckland Airport has confirmed plans for a second major maintenance project on its runway, again taking advantage of the reduction in the number of flights brought about by COVID-19 to complete important infrastructure work.

Auckland Airport’s General Manager Infrastructure André Lovatt said the new project would involve the replacement of 81 slabs at the western end of the runway, meaning the runway will be shortened for a second time. In the earlier 12-week runway project, which was successfully completed in August, 280 slabs were replaced at the eastern end.

“The first slab-replacement programme was a great success, and we’re continuing to get ahead of planned maintenance by bringing forward other important work on our runway.”

“Our organisation has been significantly affected by COVID-19, but the downturn in aviation traffic has also created opportunities for us to carry out runway works with minimal disruption to airlines, to ensure the ongoing safety and efficiency of our airfield,” said Mr Lovatt.

The runway will be shortened by 990m at the western end for the duration of the works, known as a “displaced threshold”. This allows runway works to be carried out safely while the runway remains open.

About 14,000 flights are expected to use the shortened runway during the eight-week programme of works, around half the number from the same period last year.

A 150-strong construction team would be working on the project, which starts on 5 November and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

During the works, 250 truckloads of concrete will be poured, covering 3000m2 of runway, an area the size of six tennis courts. The 36m2 slabs are 500mm thick.

Mr Lovatt said Auckland Airport had cancelled or deferred many key infrastructure projects in light of COVID-19. “We’ve had to reduce our infrastructure development programme over the next couple of years – but we’re making a point of prioritising projects that are focused on essential safety and asset maintenance.

“Safety is our top priority and we worked closely with airlines, pilots’ associations, Airways, the CAA and our designers and contractors to develop the plans for this work.”

The contractor for the project is Brian Perry Civil, the same firm that delivered the earlier slab-replacement programme.

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