Brisbane Airport’s new runway has reached the final stage of construction with first pouring of more than 100,000 tonnes of specially designed aircraft-grade asphalt taking place on Thursday.
The asphalt will be spread over the runway’s 2.5 metres of compacted sand and 600-milimetre layer of fine crushed rock over the next three months.
Infrastructure and roadworks company Fulton Hogan designed the asphalt for flexibility, load-spreading capacity, deformation resistance and its ability to withstand aircraft-induced shear stresses and high temperatures.
Brisbane Airport said on Thursday the 3.3 kilometre runway and 12km of taxiways costing $1.3 billion were on track to be operational by the middle of 2020.
The runway represented an effective doubling of Brisbane Airport’s current capacity, drawing comparisons with Singapore’s Changi and Hong Kong International.
The taxiways for the new runway were completed in September.
“Given that site preparation and reclamation works for the new runway commenced way back in July 2012, it is incredibly exciting to be reaching a point where the end of construction is now in sight,” Brisbane Airport runway project director Paul Coughlan said.
Once the sealing is finished ground lighting, navigational aids and control tower systems will be installed.
With a year until completion, Skyway joint-venture between BMD Constructions Pty Ltd and CPB Contractors Pty Ltd had completed 90 per cent of the airfield conduits and pits, 80 per cent of the modified fine crushed rock for the taxiway pavement base course and more than 50 per cent of the final taxiway pavement layer.
Skyway project director Graeme Fenemore said the crew had recorded in excess of 2.2 million hours “with an outstanding safety record”.
More than 2,700 people have worked on the project since its inception.
VIDEO: Some facts and figures on Brisbane Airport’s third runway from the airport’s YouTube channel.
The January-February 2018 edition of Australian Aviation featured an in-depth look at Brisbane Airport’s new runway. That story can be read here.