Runway Renewal in Times of Pandemic

In February 2020, the ARGE Runway 07R/25L Rehabilitation consortium, consisting of the companies PORR Oevermann Verkehrswegebau and G-S Straßenbau, was awarded the contract for the renewal of the southern runway of Frankfurt am Main, the 4th largest airport in Europe. BPO asphalt was used for the planning and optimisation of the demanding logistics and for the construction documentation.

The contract for the rehabilitation of the southern runway (07R/25L) covered an area of 192 000 m2 and a quantity of aproximately 60,000 t of asphalt to be laid. Every 6 to 7 years, the runways have to be rehabilitated to meet the safety requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The highly-stressed touchdown zones of Runway South were given a new binder and surface course. In the course of this repair measure, the asphalt surface course of the runway shoulders of the 60 m wide runway was also renewed. The demanding project was originally limited to a few days and nights in April and May. The planned construction work was rescheduled because of the COVID19 pandemic. After air traffic at Frankfurt Airport almost came to a complete standstill, it was agreed with the client that the work would be carried out in 3 weeks of day shifts in April.

Right from the start, the company has relied on digital process support called BPO. This already begins in the planning or construction preparation phase of the project. The software system enabled the holistic planning of the slope rehabilitation.

From the start, the relevant paving parameters were determined and formed the basis for the construction work and could be transmitted in digital form to all parties involved before the start of construction.

In the execution phase, the mixing foreman, paving team and the carriers were linked digitally and in real time via the app. This made it easier to coordinate mixing and paving performance on the job site and subsequently led to a reduction in downtimes.

“With Volz Consulting as a strong partner, even special challenges in logistics can be mapped by software,“ said Luca Dreger, Senior site manager, PORR Oevermann.

In the first week of the project, 55 000 t of asphalt were milled, loaded and deposited in an interim storage facility within the airport grounds, for later use as recycled material. Eight milling machines and 30 trucks were used for this purpose.
In the second week, 27,500 t of asphalt were placed as binder course. The challenge was to ensure a continuous flow of mix of up to 1,000 t/h at the paving site. Four mixing plants were ordered within a radius of 50 km from the jobsite to ensure this supply.

The safety regulations of the airport represented a special challenge for the team. The client distinguished between 2 differently sensitive areas: the operating area, into which vehicles were allowed to enter during the construction site without extensive safety checks; and the safety area, the so-called apron, into which a vehicle may not enter at any time without a comprehensive safety check.

The necessary safety checks represented a bottleneck which would not have been compatible with the ambitious construction schedule. The client therefore resorted to the following creative concept in coordination with the responsible safety authorities. In order to avoid the permanent safety checks of all trucks, 20 vehicles were thoroughly checked in advance and positioned in the safety area. These 20 trucks were to receive their freight from outside and thus ensure the supply of the construction site in the area of the runway without leaving the safety area. For this purpose, a separate overloading station was planned in order to hand over the safety-relevant freight. For this purpose, separate ramps were built up to the perimeter fence separating the 2 areas. A feeder was positioned on each of the ramps, through which the material was transferred from outside to inside.

From a practical construction point of view, this solution turned out to be optimal. As BPO was initially unable to comfortably map the double mix transfer over the safety fence in its standard version. Volz Consulting GmbH designed the special functions into the system in a very short time, before the work started.

Once again, it has been proven that with Volz Consulting GmbH as a strong partner, special challenges in logistics can be handled in an uncomplicated way.

The asphalt surface course was laid during the week of April 20. In order to meet the highest quality standards for air traffic areas, 4 pavers and the associated feeders were used for seamless paving. Compaction of the asphalt mix was carried out by 22 rollers. Some 25,000 t of surface course material were placed.

Source: Volz Consulting GmbH

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