Wellington Airport in New Zealand has started runway resurfacing work as part of its efforts to ensure the safety and efficiency of its operations.

The initial stage of the project, which will run until December this year, involves milling and paving to replace the runway surface.

The second stage involves grooving the surface to enhance the water run-off and traction and will begin soon after the completion of the initial stage and continue until next February.

Runway resurfacing work, which is aimed at preventing disruption to airline schedules, is required around every ten to 12 years, when the runway’s asphalt surface reaches the end of its design life.

Wellington Airport Airfield Development and Delivery head Nick Petkov said: “The resurfacing work was originally scheduled for the 2021 / 2022 summer. However, due to the absence of late-night international flights resulting from Covid-19, we are taking the opportunity to bring this work forward by a number of months.

“Doing this gives us a longer overnight working window, enabling us to complete the work more efficiently, in approximately four months rather than six, subject to weather. Fewer disruptions to the work will also enable us to efficiently deliver a higher quality product at a reduced cost, with fewer noise disruptions to our local community.”

The airport has hired over 200 contractors to work on the project during the next six months. The project will see around 35,000t of asphalt being removed and replaced on the runway.

Fulton Hogan will recycle the old runway asphalt for road projects in the country. This will prevent thousands of tonnes of asphalt from going to landfill, and bring down the need to quarry for virgin aggregates.

Wellington Airport Engineer to Contract / Beca project director Matt Sanders said: “To capitalise on the reduced flights and enable the resurfacing works to proceed at pace, Wellington Airport, Fulton Hogan, and Beca worked together to complete the design process in a much-condensed time frame.

“Having collaborated on the last resealing 11 years ago we look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver safe and quality outcomes for Wellington locals and visitors.”

Last April, Wellington Airport deployed Veovo’s online airport management system known as R8.