Brisbane Airport’s original runway – which has been in use since the 1980s – will soon undergo repair works to ensure that it remains safe for future use. 

After four decades, 18 ageing concrete slabs at the ends of the legacy runway need replacing (an area technically referred to as the runway threshold). This area carries the intense weight of aircraft while they sit, waiting for clearance to take off. 

The slabs are routinely maintained but are at the end of their operational life and need replacing so the runway can reliably and safely operate. 

This is a total area of 1000 that needs demolition, repouring of fresh concrete, aviation lighting installed, and runway markings reinstated. 

Works are required at both ends of the runways, but will need to be completed at one end before switching to the other. 

The slabs need to reliably carry up to 560,000km, that’s the weight of a full A380 sitting there ready for takeoff. 

During the work, Brisbane Airport’s original runway will be temporarily shortened from 3.5km to 2.7km, to facilitate the maintenance works while still having use of the runway. 

Smaller jets, typically used on domestic flights, are not impacted and can continue to use this runway during construction. 

Large wide-bodied jets, used on international flights, will need to be moved across to the New Parallel Runway. Approximately 30 flights per day will be moved to the other runway, and around half a dozen will be in the 10pm–6am period. These are the larger international passenger flights that connect Queensland to the world and also carry exports in the belly of the aircraft. 

Brisbane Airport is undertaking a large public community awareness campaign beginning more than two months before construction that includes print, television, BVOD, online, social, billboards. 

The project has been scheduled for the winter months when there is historically less rain to minimise weather delays to the project and get it done as quickly as possible. 

Works will begin on June 24 and continue for 12 weeks and are expected to be completed in September, weather permitting. 

Brisbane Airport CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said, “We understand that this will affect some people living in nearby communities and we apologise, but this is essential work to keep us all safe and connected to the world.”

Brisbane Airport Airfield Works Manager, Aaron Pond, said that it’s a unique experience having aircraft arrive and depart over the top of the worksite. 

“There’s a lot of communication that goes out to airlines to ensure that not only passengers are safe, but the works party as well,” Mr Pond said. 

Brisbane Airport Media & Corporate Affairs Manager, Peter Doherty, said that halting international travel isn’t an option for Queenslanders, the tourism industry, or exporters. 

“We all remember the impact of closing Queensland during the pandemic. This connectivity is essential for our state,” Mr Doherty said. 

“It’s taken two years to rebuild the list of international destinations on offer to Queenslanders, now back to 30 direct locations from 26 international airlines.”

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