International Airport Review

An innovative and sustainable approach to resurfacing its main runway significantly reduced costs, resources and time taken while the airport remained fully operational. London Gatwick explains more about this feat of planning and engineering.

London Gatwick, part of VINCI Airport’s network, has just resurfaced its main runway while also flying one of the busiest schedules of any European airport – a project described as performing open heart surgery while the patient is jogging.

This project had a four-year design stage – longer than expected due to the pandemic.

Resurfacing just the most trafficked areas meant focusing on the area where aircraft land and exit the runway, as these parts get used the most. This meant 40,000 tonnes of new asphalt was laid, more than 100,000 less than originally planned.

All of the old asphalt material was also recycled as aggregate in road construction, and a temporary on-site asphalt batching plant reduced lorry journey time, travel distance and emissions.

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