Melbourne Airport in Australia has started the construction of a new taxiway to improve plane movements, expand services, and boost the number of passengers.

The facility, known as ‘Taxiway Zulu’, will be constructed with an investment of A$300m ($209.6m). This is claimed to be the largest airfield investment project since the opening of the airport in 1970.

Apart from decreasing late or delayed flights, the taxiway will support capacity enhancements, new routes, and new terminal facilities, while improving operational performance.

The project will be executed by Australian construction firm Fulton Hogan and is expected to create hundreds of jobs during the three-and-a-half-year construction phase.

According to the plan, more than 250,000m² of new taxiway pavement will be constructed without affecting flight operations at the airport.

Melbourne Airport aviation chief David Hall said: “Today is not just about breaking ground on a $300m investment in our airfield, it is about transforming the travel experience for our passengers.

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“When completed, these new taxiways will mean better on-time performance for flights, more space for international aircraft and access to new destinations. It’s all part of our vision to support Melbourne on its journey to become Australia’s biggest city.”

Fulton Hogan CEO Duncan Gibb said: ‘“We are passionate about designing a new future for Melbourne Airport while setting a benchmark for sustainable infrastructure. Melbourne Airport has ambitious plans for its future and we are proud to be selected to help deliver their inspirational vision.”

Melbourne Airport stated that the finished taxiway network will provide parallel taxiways in the north of the airfield to help wide-body aircraft movements in both the east-west and north-south directions.