Melbourne Airport is entering the final stages of its north–south runway works.
Airfield ground lighting upgrades will take place over coming months. Works requiring nighttime runway closures, which were scheduled to finish this year, will now wrap up in March 2024 due to delays in government approvals.
The once-in-a-decade works have seen 2500 metres of runway replaced thus far. 38,000 tonnes of asphalt was involved, 20 per cent of which has been recycled from existing stocks.
“These safety-critical, preventive maintenance works have been undertaken with a focus on sustainability, inclusivity and collaboration to ensure the runway remains in a sound condition to support aircraft movements for the next 10-12 years,” said the airport’s chief of aviation, Jim Parashos.
“Closing our main runway whilst continuing operations at a 24/7 curfew-free airport has been challenging, but the project is a credit to the airport team and our contractors.”
The north–south runway will remain temporarily closed between 1am and 6am five nights per week until the works are completed, meaning that aircraft will use the east–west runway during these times.
“We have strategically scheduled some heavy aircraft types, such as A380s, to arrive and depart earlier or later than the night-time closures, due to operational limitations on the east-west runway, this will have the added benefit of minimising impact to nearby communities,” said Parashos.
“While we have made efforts to reduce the impact, we do anticipate that communities to the east and west of the airport will experience some additional flight activity during those night-time closures.”
The airport has set up noise monitors as it plans for a third runway to open in 2027.