Cape airport upgrade to cost R175m | Fin24
 
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Cape airport upgrade to cost R175m

Mar 12 2013 12:31
James-Brent Styan
Cape Town - Airports Company South Africa is currently refurbishing the main runway of Cape Town International airport at a total projected cost of R175m.

The resurfacing of the 3 200 metre long runway should be completed by June 30.

Airport manager Deon Cloete said the work has to be completed before winter. He added construction work is difficult as the runway cannot be closed and has to remain operational throughout the construction phase.

"This means the work can only be done once the last flight has left the airport in the evening. Generally, that means the work only starts at 12 midnight and ends at 6 am."

Cloete said the runway is the most important part of the airport and the refurbishment - which is mainly a resurfacing - has to be carried out every five to seven years.

Project manager Bharat Bhikha said the airport is also upgrading the sides of the runway, improving the graded strips to make greater provision for any possible aircraft runoffs.

Bhikha said contractors pour between 400 tons and 800 tons of asphalt on the runway every working day.

"We do an average of 200 metres by 20 metres of runway per work session," said Bhikha.

Cloete said the work being done is world class.

"It's remarkable that these contractors can get all this work done without closing down the airport.

"The additional challenge is that the runway has to be usable from 6 am, so preparation work to get the runway operational has to be done before the workers knock off every morning," said Cloete.

 - Fin24

*Follow James-Brent Styan on Twitter at @jamesstyan.

 

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