Architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm Woolpert has secured contracts from the American Samoa Government, Department of Port Administration, to rehabilitate two runways on the Pacific island.
Under the first contract, the company will evaluate and rehabilitate the primary runway at Pago Pago International Airport (PPG), which is located on the island of Tutuila.
The primary Runway 5-23 is 10,000ft long and 150ft wide and offers international commercial service and supports the country’s air cargo traffic.
Woolpert will rehabilitate, reconstruct and possibly extend the runway at Ofu Airport (Z08) as part of the second contract.
The second runway, which supports interisland traffic, is capable of handling only small, regional aircraft.
The firm is evaluating and improving airport transit infrastructure on the islands of Tutuila and Ofu, minimising future disruption to operations and environmental impacts.
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Woolpert’s scope of work at PPG’s Runway 5-23 will include studying of the pavement infrastructure and carrying out a condition evaluation.
Additionally, the company will give advice on methods of improvements, materials and the phasing of the project, while ensuring the least disruption to airport operations and environmental impacts.
The Ofu Airport features one 2,000-foot runway that serves the sister islands of Ofu and Olodega, located around 70 miles east of Pago Pago. Access to these islands is limited to a weekly flight or a chartered eight-hour boat ride.
Woolpert project manager Curtis Brown said because the runway is ageing it needs reconstruction and a possible extension for safety and increased aeronautical services.
Brown further added: “The Ofu runway extension project would extend the runway into the ocean and fringing reef.
“The project has significant environmental considerations since it would affect a protected coral reef, which is home to the endangered blue coral. We will work with numerous environmental groups, the American Samoa Government, and local entities to ensure the wildlife habitat and beauty of that site is protected.”
Currently, both the runway rehabilitation projects are under-progress and working in tandem. Design work is scheduled to be completed this year, with phased construction set to follow over the next few years.