Renovation works commence on runway 01/19 at Brussels Airport


Tuesday 26 July will see the start of major renovation works on runway 01/19 at Brussels Airport. The asphalt surface layers will be completely renewed to guarantee the safety of aircraft movements. At the same time, this opportunity will be taken to renew the drainage system and runway lighting. For this, the airport is opting for energy-saving materials and efficient techniques.

Runways have to be thoroughly renovated every 30 years so that takeoffs and landings can continue safely. Runway 07R/25L was thoroughly renovated last year and this year it is the turn of cross runway 01/19. Runway 07L/25R will be renovated in the coming years.

The renovation works on 01/19 will start on Tuesday 26 July and, barring unforeseen technical hitches or weather conditions, will complete on 25 September. Brussels Airport is carrying out the operations in the summer months because they offer the most favourable weather conditions and reduce the risk of delays on the site.

To limit the impact on local residents and the airport activities, Brussels Airport will carry out the renovation in four phases, with work also being carried out at night. In the first month of the operations, work will continue on a 24-hour basis, and in the second month it will be between 10.00pm and 06.00am only.

Energy-efficient materials

Again this year, Brussels Airport is opting for energy-efficient materials and techniques. During the operations, the asphalt that has been removed will be crushed for reuse in the foundation. In doing so, not only will we avoid creating 115,000 tonnes of waste, but there will also be 4,600 fewer trucks required to travel on and off the site, representing a CO2 saving of 990 tonnes.

For the runway lighting, energy-efficient LED lighting will be installed instead of halogen lamps. This will deliver a saving of 597,600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, the equivalent of the annual consumption of 163 households (3500 kWh/year) and a CO2 reduction of 165 tonnes per year.

To cool the asphalt rollers and prevent clouds of dust, a lot of water is needed. To this end, Brussels Airport will use rainwater from one of the airport’s balancing reservoirs. This will save nearly 10,000 m3 of mains water.

The technique of grooving will also be applied on the runway. The 76,000 grooves are spaced at 3 to 4 centimetre intervals along the entire length of the runway. The advantage of this is that rainwater can drain away more easily. The aircraft tyres will also have a better grip on the runway surface in bad weather and will not wear as quickly.

The operations in figures

  • 23,000 m² asphalt, in layers of 12 cm thickness, stripped and renewed
  • 62,000 m² hard shoulders along the runway removed and replaced
  • 373 kilometres of cable renewed
  • 5.6 kilometres of rainwater ducts removed and replaced
  • 3,2 kilometres of conduits renovated
  • 1,850 lamps replaced with LED
July 25, 2016