Wednesday 27 May will see the start of the renovation works to runway 25L/07R at Brussels Airport. The runway and all pertaining infrastructure are to be replaced in full. Every 30 years, runways are to be comprehensively renovated to ensure the continued safety of all flight movements.
What is happening during the first stage?
On Wednesday 27 May, the first stage of the operations will get under way: this will see the asphalt scraped away, the runway shoulders demolished and the sewers and water drainage system being dismantled.
The first day will see the preliminary work being performed, which includes clearing the runway, removal of the lighting fixtures and putting up the job site fencing. The actual operations are set to commence on Thursday 28 May. These will include stripping the asphalt, breaking up the drainage culverts and the shoulders, removing the cabling and renovating the collectors. Following on from this, the shoulders are to be newly laid, with new asphalt layers being put in and fresh cabling being laid to power the runway lights.
Impact mitigation for local residents
In order to minimise the nuisance for nearby residents during the works, various measures have been put in place. Work will continue around the clock to have the operation completed as swiftly as possible. In addition, the work will be undertaken in stages to avoid having to close down the common sections with the take-off and landing runway 01/19 for any great length of time.
Brussels Airport also particularly makes sure that transport to the airport is made to occur as efficiently as possible. Job site traffic to the airport is set to use the motorways and regional roads. The number of journeys is kept down through the optimum organisation of the transport runs and restricting the number of ‘empty’ runs.
The airport has opted to create just one single site access, located at Namenstraat in Nossegem. For safety reasons, a parking ban will be in place in Namenstraat for the duration of the works, with extra sets of traffic lights being set up at the junction with Mechelsesteenweg.
The way in which the runway is to be used during the works has been established by the Directorate General for Civil Aviation in joint consultation with Belgocontrol, in accordance with the statutory provisions of the dispersion plan. In doing so, due consideration has gone out to a string of factors, such as runway and taxiway availability, the weather conditions and the airport traffic intensity. Belgocontrol will strictly implement these instructions, air traffic safety being the top concern.
The actual runway use can be consulted in real time at the website www.batc.be.
Ongoing communications on the works
Brussels Airport is making every effort to inform nearby residents of the works. The airport has devoted a special feature on the upcoming works in its neighbourhood magazine ‘Connect’. The magazine is circulated at 620,000 copies around the wider surrounding area. Moreover, local residents who live in the immediate vicinity will be informed of the impact of the works to their local area by personal letter.