Canberra Airport opened its new taxiway on Thursday, which it hopes will speed up departure times by eliminating the need for planes to cross the main runway.
Around 150 people worked on the 14-month project, which replaces an existing taxiway north of the terminal that was first built in the 1940s.
“It may just look like a large road to many however to build such a road capable of carrying planes in excess of 180 tonnes takes some serious engineering and a lot of hard work,” said Canberra Airport’s head of projects, Zarko Danilov.
“It is as wide as a four-lane highway, over two metres deep and required 115,000 cubic metres of select fill and gravel with special physical properties to be used as a road base.
“In short, it makes the whole airfield safer and more efficient.”
The new taxiway is called Bravo and Michael Thomson, the airport’s head of aviation, said building it will help the business’ long-term vision to become a world-class international airport.
Last month, Australian Aviation reported that passengers who travel through Canberra Airport will now no longer have to remove their laptops, liquids or aerosols from their bags at security.
The airport has installed new technology that shows officials a “more informative” scan of customers’ belongings that also uses “automatic algorithms”.
“Several passengers can put their bags down simultaneously for screening, compared to the previous system where passengers had to wait for their turn,” Thomson said.
“The passenger pauses briefly as they pass through the body screening machine and it provides a safe full image for operators to review.
“This more informative image coupled with automatic algorithms to help guide operators to items of interest, makes this a truly powerful security tool.”
The more positive news also comes days after the airport said it would start closing on Saturdays, and possibly one other day each week, to save money.