It has been a case of lights and plenty of action late at night
at Christchurch Airport in recent weeks.
The annual maintenance work on the runways began in February and
was scheduled to run for eight weeks.
Airport Chief Operating Officer Andy Lester says the work is
very dependent on ideal weather conditions - a combination of wind,
temperature and cloud cover - not to mention having to work to a
tight timetable between late night flights.
"The work began between 6pm and 9 pm and had to be well
scheduled, so it could be complete, and the airport fully
operational again, by the first flight in around 5 am," says Mr
Lester. "We do this each summer and while the overall timetable is
roughly the same, the weather is the wildcard.
"This year, the bulk of the works ran to time and schedule, with
the exception of two paving shifts at the northern end of the main
runway. The change in weather meant they have been deferred until
later in the year. "
The $4 million project was completed by Fulton Hogan and saw
5000 tonnes of asphalt used. The work included full asphalt overlay
and widening of the intersection of the crosswind runway and the
main taxiway, replacement of large areas of asphalt on the
international apron and reconstruction of two storm-water drain
A protective coating was also sprayed on areas of the runway and
taxiway to extend the life of the asphalt.
Mr Lester says runway maintenance work is scheduled every
"The airport company has an active 20 year maintenance
programme for the airfield, which schedules pavement work
each year mainly in the summer," he says. "This allows the
runway and taxiway infrastructure to be maintained in top
condition, as well as helping us take care of this very important
piece of infrastructure for the city, the region and the South