16 February 2021
With fewer aircraft coming in due to COVID-19, Auckland Airport is taking the opportunity to embark upon a three-year period of pavement renewal throughout its airfield.
André Lovatt, General Manager Infrastructure, said the airport was continuously maintaining and updating the airfield surface to ensure the infrastructure supported safe and reliable operations.
“The disruption of COVID-19 has meant we’ve experienced a drop of about 45% in total aircraft traffic. That means we can bring forward renewal of concrete and asphalt surfaces with minimum disruption to aircraft.
“An operating airfield is a complex environment for our teams to work in, but the big reduction in flight numbers makes it safer, easier and more cost effective to bring forward this scheduled work.
“We’re taking a prudent, safety-first approach to maintain the longevity of large areas of the airfield pavement. With reduced aviation traffic at the moment because of COVID-19, we can complete this project with less interruption to passengers and cargo movements.”
Between March and September, 176 concrete slabs around the taxiways will be replaced – more than 6300m² of new airfield. In the next stage, Auckland Airport is considering plans for 2022 and 2023 that would see renewal of another 48,000m² of airfield – an area the size of five rugby fields.
Mr Lovatt said the runway resurfacing had been a major focus in 2020 and delivering the project safely, on time and without disrupting travellers required a great deal of collaboration and support from aviation partners.
“Having completed the runway works, we’re now looking to the rest of the airfield – the taxiways and stands that make up the majority of the airfield. Once again, we’ll be working closely with our aviation partners to make sure pavement resurfacing works can be completed safely and with minimal interruption to operations.”
As part of ongoing airfield maintenance, more than 120 light fixtures around the airfield will be replaced at the same time.