Frankfurt Airport's Runway North Undergoes Complete Renovation / Phased Nighttime Construction Ensures Regular Runway Operations

Frankfurt, Germany (ots) Fraport AG has begun major renovations of Frankfurt Airport's Runway North (07L/25R), one of the airport's two 4,000-meter-long parallel runways that are used for take-offs and landings. To be completed in the summer of 2005, the Runway North renovation project will comprise 300 incremental construction steps carried out during nighttime hours so as not to affect regular operations. Fraport AG's Traffic and Retail (VTM) division will be investing some 38 million euros to renovate Runway North, which handles approximately 200,000 aircraft movements per year. The lifeline of any airport, runways require regular maintenance. Surface damage and fissures can lead to undesirable vibrations in aircraft during taxing, landing and take-off. Thus, construction work has already begun and could not be postponed any longer.

Planned with meticulous precision, construction work on the highly utilized runway can only be done in small steps during the nighttime from 22:30. After 6:00 in the morning, the runway (following control and inspection) has to be ready again for unrestricted regular operations. Therefore, this extraordinary renovation project has been divided into 300 individual steps to be completed over 300 nights. Construction work has to be halted during the height of the summer and winter seasons and during periods of heavy rain. The runway's asphalt surface, including some sections that are more than 30 years old, has to be broken up and removed. A 60-centimeter-thick asphalt layer is applied on the compacted gravel and sand runway foundation. Following intense testing of materials, Fraport's construction department decided to use a high-tech mixture of asphalt and synthetic resin, which can be applied even during relatively low temperatures and then used shortly thereafter by aircraft taking off or landing.

Fraport's Runway North renovation project is generating substantial interest around the world. Representatives from other airports, where a similar construction procedure could be advantageous, have already announced plans to visit Fraport AG's experts at Frankfurt Airport.