Airport signs contract for runway repair

POSTED: 11/30/12 12:23 PM

St. Maarten – The contract for the repair of the runway at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) was signed between the airport’s Operating Company NV and the joint venture, Janssen de Jong Caribbean BV, NV Arubaanse Wegenbouw Maatschappij and Windward Roads BV last Tuesday. The contract was signed by the airport’s Managing Director Regina Labega and on behalf of the contractor Janhendrik Boekaar, for $16.6 million.

“This project will start by the end of November with the actual physical runway works getting under way by mid-March of next year,” the airport’s Technical Director, Mirto Breell said. “The entire length of the 2,300 meter (7,545ft) airport runway will be replaced with a fresh layer of asphalt and an asphalt overlay will be applied to correct the longitudinal profile of the runway, serving to significantly improve the structural integrity of the pavement construction.” Windward Roads BV last resurfaced the runway in 1997.

All works on the runway will take place at night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when there are no aircraft operations and the airport is normally closed, hence there will be no effect on flight operations. The project is scheduled to be completed in October 2013.

“The runway threshold will be shifted 70 meters to the east to accommodate the Runway End Saftey Area. The maintenance of the runway is urgently required due to the deterioration of the asphalt surface after 15 years of use. It is customary to have a major resurfacing of the runway done every 15-20 years depending on the circumstances,” Breell added.

If the runway is not regularly resurfaced it can become a potential safety issue as the integrity of the pavement surface breaks down. The taxiway will be modified to allow larger commercial aircraft to have better access to the ramps and shorten the backtracking on the runway prior to take off. The existing airfield ground lighting will be replaced with the more economical LED lights. Furthermore, an entirely new remote system will be installed in the control tower.

“The project also includes the construction of a helipad for helicopters at the southeasterly end of the runway,” Breell continued.

In preparation for this repair, a topographical survey, a pavement investigation with core drilling and subsoil testing among other stringent internationally required studies were carried out.

Rob Noorman, a project manager from the Netherlands Airport Consultants BV has been contracted to supervise the project.

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