Brisbane Airport says the works turning the millions of cubic metres of sand where its new parallel runway is to be located into pavement will shortly begin after the awarding of the $500 million airfield works contract.
The runway, which will be 3,300m long and 60m wide, is located about two kilometres to the west of the existing 01/19 runway on a 360ha greenfield site.
It is slated to be operational in 2020.
Brisbane Airport said in a statement Skyway, a joint venture between BMD Construction and CPB Contractors, had won the tender for the airfield works contract.
This final stage of works involves removing up to five million of the 11 million cubic metres of sand that was pumped onto the site in 2014 and has been left to settle in order to consolidate the soft underlying soils and form a stable platform to construct the runway.
The paving of the 3,300m runway – requiring about 100,000 tonnes of aircraft quality asphalt – and 12km of concrete taxiways will follow once the sand has been removed and the ground consolidated.
The required navigational aids, lighting, utilities, signage, operational roads, drainage, security fencing, control systems and some 300ha of airfield landscaping will follow.
Some 400 workers were expected to be required for the works over the next three years, Brisbane Airport said.
Brisbane Airport has said previously it expected annual passenger traffic through its domestic and international would more than double from 22 million in 2014 to 50 million by 2035.
It also estimates the number of annual aircraft movements would grow from 227,000 currently to 360,000 by 2035 and 500,000 by 2045.
Brisbane Airport chief executive Julieanne Alroe said in a statement the runway project was the most important piece of aviation infrastructure being built in Queensland and the biggest undertaken by the airport since its privatisation in 1997.
“Given the long history of this project which had its earliest planning stages in the 1970s, it is a significant milestone to announce today the successful contractor for the largest, final and most expensive package of works to bring Brisbane’s new runway to life,” Alroe said.
“It is a $1.2 to $1.3 billion privately funded investment that, when operational in 2020, will provide unlimited opportunities for the growth of our city, state and, ultimately, our nation.”
Both joint venture companies have a previous relationship with Brisbane Airport.
BMD Construction was involved in the early on-site preparation works between September 2012 and December 2013 and was the principal contractor for some roadworks in early 2016.
Meanwhile, CPB Contractors, a unit of CIMIC Group, was the managing contractor for the building the domestic terminal, air traffic control tower and runways and taxiways that opened in 1988, Brisbane Airport said.
“We are committed to ensuring that the project’s planned operational, social and economic benefits are achieved through innovative and sustainable solutions – and that we deliver a quality asset of long-term value for Brisbane Airport and the people of Queensland,” CIMIC Group chief executive Adolfo Valderas said.
CIMIC said in a statement construction was scheduled to start “in the coming weeks”.
In February, Brisbane Airport awarded a contract worth $120 million to McConnell Dowell Constructors for the building of roads surrounding the new parallel runway.