28 April 2011
Looking after the runway at Auckland Airport is a big job – but it's become much easier since the introduction of a weekly shutdown.
For the past few months, the 3.6km runway has been closed to all traffic in the early hours of Monday mornings to allow for maintenance work to be carried out.
Now workers can perform tasks including checks on the integrity of the runway slabs, lighting, remove any rubber and do any painting during a three-hour maintenance window.
Aeronautical policy manager Mike Clay says the shutdown reduces the need for using a displaced threshold for maintenance where work is carried out while the runway is still ‘live’. It makes runway maintenance safer for everyone involved.
“We are a 24/7 runway, and we only have one runway so we chose a time that would cause the least disruption to scheduled flights,” he says. “The timing also reduces the potential for confusion.”