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Building better runways

Building better runways

Quality material and equipment make airport runways durable in line with future development goals and traffic projections.

Runway is a rectangular area of an aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft. Being the most critical part of an airfield, strengh and durability plays a crucial role in determining safety. An accident on a runway will affect the airport availability, leading to serious damage and injuries.Runway is a major element of the airport; a clearly defined area prepared for landing and/or take-off of an aircraft. Runways and taxiways should be planned in a way that is in tandem with other major operating elements such as terminal building, cargo areas, air-traffic services and parking etc. to provide an airport configuration offering the maximum overall efficiency. Runways are normally identified by the principal elements. While constructing a new airport runway, the vision is to achieve smart, innovative, low maintenance, sustainable and fast to construct pavement design. A runway shall be characterised by the parameters such as runway orientation, runway length and width, runway surface type, runway sections and runway strength.

When a runway plays host to thousands of airplanes every week asphalt airfield pavements particularly runways are subject to entirely different stresses like air traffic count, fuel spillage, weathering exposures (sun, UV rays and rain) jet blasting or torching by jet engines along with heavy duty usage results in the deterioration of asphalt pavement. It slowly begins to weaken, resulting in extracting aggregate particles and binder. Over time, this leads to the loss of large aggregate particles, cracking, water penetration and ultimate failure. To prevent such issue, airports conduct regular maintenance check and repair work, spending immense amount of funds and time.

Expediting runway construction
When one plans the construction of a new airport runway, one needs to ensure that the project is appropriately resourced and future ready. You need the right design keeping future development and traffic projections in mind, the right material, right equipment and right partners with the expertise to help you to deliver a durable runway in the stipulated timeframe. You also need to plan for a proper and rigorous maintenance schedule to ensure you closely monitor the health of the runway and address wear and tear in a timely and cost-effective manner, according to Wilfried Theissen, Managing Director, Putzmeister India.

Schwing Stetter has played a major role in modernisation of Indian airports and in building Greenfield airports, says V.G. Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd. The company has been launching at regular intervals products that are suited for such projects. “Our client had a challenge of space availability in modernisation of Mumbai airport, MIAL. We recommended Stetter concrete batching plant with small footprint and high production capacity to address this specific requirement. When it comes to construction of runways and taxiways, we offer concrete paving solutions from our partner’s M/s GOMACO, USA, says Sakthikumar.

Equipment for faster, stronger construction
Putzmeister has a full range of equipment to support the production, transport, pumping and placement of concrete. The company’s product range includes batching plants, transit mixers, stationary concrete pumps, boom placers and truck mounted boom pumps. For the conveying and pumping of other material Putzmeister hastelescoping belt conveyors and high-density solids pumps, says Theissen. For the more challenging projects, Putzmeister offers operation and management team that will work as part of the project team and manage the operations and maintenance of all Putzmeister equipment on the project.

Schwing Stetter offers mobile crushing plants on track for removing or demolition of existing taxiways and runways. Such product increases the productivity and also gives excellent quality output that helps construction of runways and taxiways. The company also offer solutions for the truck mounted concrete boom pumpsand tower cranes. Schwing Stetter also offers products to integrate with the concrete batching plantsite like wheel loaders and concrete recycling plants. “For runway construction and site development, we offer motor graders and excavators. On maintenance side of existing terminal buildings, we offer aerial work platforms. For underground telecommunication lines, we are offering horizontal directional drilling machine. We have various capacities of this equipment that can increase the scale and speed of the construction,” says Sakthikumar.

When one plans the construction of a new airport runway, one needs to ensure that the project is appropriately resourced and future ready.
Wilfried Theissen, Managing Director, Putzmeister India

When it comes to construction of runways and taxiways, we offer concrete paving solutions from our partner’s GOMACO, USA.
V.G. Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd.

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