A critical $5 million upgrade of the Gold Coast Airport runway was able to be completed while there were fewer flights at the airport and delivered in time for the busier December and January period.
Asphalt was resurfaced on the southern 450m of the runway and 280m of adjoining taxiways in September and after several weeks of curing, has been recently grooved – a process which allows water to run off the surface under aircraft tyres.
The window for night works was increased due to fewer late night and early morning flights during COVID-19 travel restrictions, allowing the project to be completed sooner and delivering a cost saving of about five per cent.
Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton said airside infrastructure projects required many months of careful planning and coordination.
“Critical maintenance projects like these are forecasted years in advance,” she said.
“The overlay was a priority project that we needed to deliver and the reduction in flights provided a benefit, allowing the project to happen more quickly and with a cost saving.
“The work was able to be done just ahead of the increase in flights we are now seeing, following the opening of the Queensland border from December 1.
“This essential investment is critical to ensuring safe aircraft operations at Gold Coast Airport now and into the future.”
Work was undertaken at night to limit any operational impact as a result of closing the runway.
The project, delivered by Fulton Hogan, covered a total area of 32,000sq m, requiring 6,500 tonnes of asphalt.
A crew of up to 100 was onsite each night, completing the works in sections of about 90 metres per night on average.
Overlay projects are generally undertaken every 10-15 years. The other two kilometres of the runway was resurfaced in 2016.