Close-up view of a Qantas passenger airplane landing at Melbourne Airport, with CBD skyline in the background

Melbourne Airport will undergo critical maintenance works and safety improvements, replacing 2,500m of pavement at its north-south runway.

The runway is the longest of Melbourne Airport’s two existing runways and supports the bulk of long-haul international flights.

Work will begin in early November and will involve temporary night-time closures of the runway so that sections of tarmac can progressively be replaced.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, said the work is a huge undertaking involving hundreds of people over an eleven-month period.

“Like other airports around the world, we undertake this preventive maintenance work every decade or so to ensure the runway can continue to support heavy aircraft operations,” Mr Parashos said.

“From next month we will close the runway five nights a week for between six-and-a-half to eight hours each night for around eleven months.

“This means that aircraft taking off and landing during these night-time maintenance windows will use the existing east-west runway instead.

“We have strategically scheduled some heavy aircraft types, such as A380s, to arrive and depart earlier or later than the night-time closures, due to operational limitations on the east-west runway. This will have the added benefit of minimising impact to nearby communities.

“While we have made efforts to reduce the impact, we do anticipate that communities to the east and west of the airport will experience some additional flight activity during those night-time closures.”

In February next year, maintenance work will be undertaken on the intersection of the two runways, which will result in the temporary shortening of the north-south runway at night-time.

Because of this, there will be a slight change in the way that aircraft land and take off from the north-south runway and this may have some temporary noise impacts on nearby communities.

Noise impacts may be lessened for neighbours to the north, but areas to the south may experience some additional temporary noise during the work period.

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