Taxiway A Overlay & Widening

Christchurch Airport, Christchurch New Zealand

Insufficient wingtip clearances meant that A380 aircraft had to backtrack on the main runway to bypass the terminal frontage area due to a pinch point around parking gate 21. This project offset and widened Taxiway A between connector Taxiways A4 and A5 to achieve operational clearances and relieve the costly and time-consuming need for the A380 to backtrack on the main runway.

The scope of work included widening Taxiway A full strength pavement by 9.5 metres, constructing new 17.5 metre taxiway shoulders, installing storm drainage and utilities, relocating taxiway centreline lights, and reconfiguring pavement markings.

A common challenge during many airfield improvement projects is accessing a work site surrounded by an aircraft operational area.  Airport staff prepared a thorough Method of Work Plan detailing airport operational restrictions and routes for aircraft and construction equipment.  The clearly defined plan prescribed the creation of a temporary aircraft bypass around the phased construction site as well as tightly controlled contractor site ingress and egress.

The plan was strictly followed each night, and with a controlled crossing at a specific location, effort to remove any FOD was minimised. Clear, concise, and direct communication, particularly at the contractor’s access point across the live taxiway, created the optimum procedure for accessing the isolated site. As a result there were no contractor/aircraft conflicts.

Vogt CE provided full-time construction management as the Principals’ Site Representative and ensured the operational restrictions and specifications were followed and any clarifications to the plans were promptly made on site. The project met the programme deadline and eliminated the need for aircraft backtracking on the runway.