Cologne Bonn Airport

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Major runway resurfacing to begin in 2018


Cologne/Bonn Airport is pushing ahead with the renewal of its runway system. The general overhaul of the main runway known as 14L/32R is now set to begin in April 2018. In doing so, the surface of the 3,815 meter long and 60 meter wide asphalt strip will be replaced step by step during ongoing flight operations.

The resurfacing of the main runway, on which the majority of take-offs and landings take place in Cologne/Bonn, places high demands on planners and engineers and requires long-term preparation and comprehensive official permits. “The greatest challenge thereby is to bring the flight operations, the construction work and noise abatement for local residents into harmony,” says airport chief Michael Garvens.

The main runway (14L/32R) was built in the 1960s in prestressed concrete and was most recently overhauled in 1995/1996. After now 20 years of use the old asphalt layers need to be replaced. The runway lighting will be converted to LED technology and a runway status reporting system installed which detects and automatically reports weather conditions.

In preparation for the resurfacing, a cable run for the power supply will be built this year already and the construction site set up. All work will take place on the airport site.

The general overhaul will then take place between 7 April and 30 November 2018. Work will be performed at weekends between Saturday noon and Sunday 6.00 p.m. During that 30-hour working window, the existing asphalt will gradually be removed and renewed. Some 23 weekends are planned for the complete resurfacing of the 3.8 kilometer long runway, 11 are planned as reserves for poor weather conditions.

During the working periods, the main runway will be closed to flight operations. To minimize the effects on flight operations and local residents as far as possible, the airport has opted for a comparatively short window of time in the period of relatively quiet traffic at the weekend.

During that time, the traffic will be routed via the smaller parallel runway (14R/32L) and the crosswind runway (06/24). Unlike during the interim overhaul of the runway in 2016, no take-offs or landings are planned on the crosswind runway from the west, thus over Porz-Wahn. For night-time departures on the parallel runway to the south, however, the airport is applying for a temporary special permit for the period of resurfacing.

On 6 weekends between 21 April and 10 June (2 additional weekends of weather reserves) work will take place at the crossing between the main and the crosswind runways. Then only the smaller runway is available for flight operations. It will then also be permitted for take-offs/landings to and from the north. Here, too, the airport is applying for a special permit from the ministry responsible.

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