New Zealand’s Auckland Airport has commenced a pavement renewal project throughout the airfield over the next three years.

The airport authorities decided to undertake this pavement renewal due to fewer aircraft coming into the airport.

Auckland Airport general manager for infrastructure André Lovatt said: “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.”

The airport will replace 176 concrete slabs around the taxiways, which is more than 6,300m² of new airfield.

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In the next phase, the airport is considering plans to renew 48,000m² of airfield in 2022 and 2023.

Lovatt added: “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.”

More than 120 light fixtures around the airfield will also be replaced as part of the ongoing airfield maintenance.