Germany’s Frankfurt Airport is upgrading its Runway 18 West with a new asphalt surface and binder course as part of a significant maintenance project.

The 14cm-thick asphalt surface requires regular replacing due to normal and weather-related wear.

The maintenance work on Runway 18 West will be carried out for five days and is expected to be back in full operation from 27 May.

During the period of maintenance, a surface of around 44,000m², which is roughly equivalent to the size of five soccer pitches, will be renewed and upgraded.

The Frankfurt Airport runway maintenance project will involve the movement of approximately 30,000t of asphalt by 100 workers working multiple shifts.

"The Frankfurt Airport runway maintenance project will involve the movement of approximately 30,000t of asphalt by 100 workers working multiple shifts."

The upgrade will also include the replacement of the entire lighting system of Runway 18 West, which comprises approximately 600 units of surface and underfloor lights, along with energy-saving, long-lasting light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Around six cutting-edge milling machines will be used to mill off the asphalt courses, using global positioning system (GPS) assisted positioning in place of optical surveying tools.

The technology accurately mills off even the tiniest imperfections on the asphalt courses.

Airport operator Fraport has urged the Hessian Ministry of Transport to suspend the noise-respite regulations for Frankfurt Airport, during the early morning and late-evening hours, for the entire five-day period of the maintenance work.


Image: Southern Runway Maintenance 2016 at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: courtesy of Fraport.