Runway project completed

The night-time work we have been doing on our runway is complete.

Project Takatu, as we named it, has literally taken hundreds of people and machines thousands of hours to complete, night after night, week after week, doing a truly vital job for our ability to keep growing and serving the South Island.

We have replaced and widened the concrete shoulders on the runways, to future-proof the airport, by making it possible to safely manage larger next generation civilian and military aircraft into the future.

The work was the result of about two years' preparation, negotiating with airlines and Airways, as well as carefully planning every aspect of the work. The shifts were very dependent on conditions, including weather, wind, temperature, cloud cover and other aspects. Each day for all those months, staff monitored weather reports from meteorologists, conditions were tightly monitored and sometimes changed, which sometimes impacted the work. Any night's work which was stood down was added to the other end of the schedule, to ensure the required work was completed.

However Project Takatu was completed at 4am on Friday May 13.

During the project aircraft using the east-west runway at night because the north-south was unavailable to them overnight while work proceeded, generated an increase in noise complaints. We are aware this was an irritation to some residents, to whom we again extend our thanks for their understanding.

If you'd like a better understanding of the project, you might like to watch this short video http://bit.ly/ProjectTakatu

Not only does it give you an idea of the work which has been done, but its importance. As one worker says "This is a once in a generation project."