Canberra Airport in Australia has announced the opening of Taxiway Bravo, which marks the completion of a 14-month project to boost aircraft safety.

This project is also expected to decrease passenger travel times at the airport.

Canberra Airport Aviation head Michael Thomson said: “Taxiway Bravo aligns with our long term vision as a world-class, small international airport to be as safe and efficient as possible and provide the best travel experience we can help to facilitate, now and well into the future.”

The project was delivered by the Canberra Airport team, as well as main contractor Houn and project superindendent Spiire.

Construction on the 1.6km-long taxiway involved around 150 workers. The finished taxiway now permits large aircraft to manoeuvre more safely around the airfield.

It will also allow quicker movement of the aircraft on the taxiway from the landing to the terminal, which will decrease the passenger travel time.

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Canberra Airport Projects head Zarko Danilov added: “It may just look like a large road to many however to build such a road capable of carrying planes in excess of 180t takes some serious engineering and a lot of hard work.

“It is as wide as a four-lane highway, over two metres deep and required 115,000m³ of select fill and gravel with special physical properties to be used as a road base.

“The existing taxiway network North of the terminal was built in the 1940s, so we were certainly due for an upgrade. Taxiway bravo eliminates the need for planes to cross the main runway (which is the current arrangement) and clears the path for more planes landing or taking off. In short it makes the whole airfield safer and more efficient.”

Last month, Canberra Airport set up a security screening system that included technology from Smiths Detection and Rapiscan Systems. This is expected to boost the screening of passengers and carry-on luggage.

In February, Canberra Airport received approval from the Australian and State Government for its 20-year master plan to increase passenger capacity.