Australian construction company Lendlease has begun building aerobridges at Gold Coast Airport using a low-impact piling system.

The work is part of the A$200m ($135.5m) Southern Terminal Expansion project at the airport.

This project will double the footprint of the existing terminal and provide a new departure lounge, border control facilities and extra retail areas.

A new 80t continuous flight auger (CFA) has been assembled on-site to start the construction of the aerobridge foundations.

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The 30m-tall piling rig will place 2,500m³ of concrete into 224 piles, with diameters ranging from 600mm to 1,050mm. The company expects between four and eight piles to be fixed in a day.

Piling reinforcement cages will be fixed off-site to reduce disruption and installed using a 60ft crane.

Lendlease Building Queensland general manager Brad Protheroe said: “The CFA piling system allows us to drill to the final depth in one continuous process, with stability to the surrounding soil reinforced along the way.

“At the same time, the auger is withdrawn from the hole, concrete is pumped into the cavity through the hollow centre of the auger pipe to the base, meaning the hole is never left open or unsupported. Reinforcement is then placed into the concrete to complete the pile.”

This method minimises the construction noise impact on the airport’s surrounding areas.

It is expected that the ground floor will be completed in the coming months while the terminal is to be opened in mid-2021.

Following the Southern Terminal Expansion, work is expected to start on the refurbishment of the existing terminals.