Renovated runway 01/19 at Brussels Airport reopened to air traffic

September 10, 2016

The renovation works on runway 01/19 are completed, two weeks ahead of schedule thanks to the favourable weather conditions in August and the close collaboration with the two lead contractors. Brussels Airport Company took advantage of the opportunity to sow a special grass mixture that rabbits and other rodents prefer to avoid.  

The runway is again available for use 24 hours a day. This weekend Brussels Airport Company, together with lead contractors Aswebo and Louis Stevens & Co, has completed the renovation of runway 01/19. The last stage, in which work was carried out from 10 pm to 6 am, could be completed two weeks ahead of schedule due to the optimal weather conditions at night in August and the flexibility of the contractors.

Runway 01/19 is now entirely operational again and will be again be used according to the stipulations of the preferential runway system (PRS).

The work took 1.5 months to complete. During this period:

  • 239,000 m² of asphalt, in a 12-cm layer, was replaced
  • 62.000 m² of runway shoulders demolished and reconstructed
  • 373 km of cables renewed
  • 5.6 km of rainwater drains demolished and rebuilt
  • 3.2 km of sewerage renovated
  • 1,850 lamps replaced by LED lamps

Brussels Airport is testing a new mixture of grasses
During the renovation works, Brussels Airport Company has sown new grasses along runway 01/19. This blend of two grasses contains endophytes, a type of fungus in the roots, which makes the grass taste bad. The airport operator is testing this mixture of grasses to examine whether rabbits, other rodents and birds will actually avoid them.

The huge grass surfaces on the airport ground attract all sorts of fauna. To guarantee the safety during take-off, it is imperative that no birds are flying near the runways or rodents run around the tarmac.

By sowing 30,000 m² of these grasses, the airport operator hopes to dissuade these animals to go near the runways.

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