The current aeroplane curfew for most Australian International Airports is from 11pm to 6am. This means that critical works such as runway slab replacements must be painstakingly planned and executed to ensure the runway can be returned to service and be capable of supporting aeroplanes within a seven-hour window.

Nick Agromopolous, Director for NA Group, broke down the preparation works that go into any BluCem FSC – Fast Set Concrete project.

“We plan meticulously. Right down to where each vehicle is going to park on the runway.” Nick mentioned.

 

The entire project is designed and simulated at the NA Group yard in the days leading up to the project. “It’s all choreographed, and not one movement is wasted. We operate like a Formula One pit crew, but for fast set concrete. Everyone knows their job, they get it done and they get back out.” Nick said.

 

Once the simulations have been perfected, the team is inducted for the real project.

To begin, the volumetric mobile batching units (MBUs) and the NA Group team are placed in a holding area just off to one side of the runway. The second the green light is given by Airport Management, approx. 20 trucks make a dash for the runway and begin working.

Typical project timeline shown below:

  • 11:00pm – Team allowed on site.
  • 11:05pm – Lighting assembled and excavation begins.
  • 11:15pm – Excavation completed down to the subbase.
  • 11:20pm – Drilling in tie bars.
  • 11:30pm – Installing the bars.
  • 11:45pm – Installing the Ableflex around the perimeter.
  • 11:55pm – Preparing subbase.
  • 12:00am – BluCem FSC Concrete placement.
  • 12:15am – Vibrating concrete.
  • 12:20am – Concrete finishing.
  • 12:25am – Clean up.
  • 12:30am – Most of the team leave the runway.

 

Along with project planning, Nick is also vigilant about contingency planning. He said that “It’s not just about planning for the job’s success, you have to imagine all possibilities, even the worst-case scenarios.”

Nick and his team’s essential contingency plan includes back up trucks and equipment as well as fully qualified Fitters and Mechanics, in case anything breaks down.

To learn more about BluCem FSC, the team at NA Group or to read about other recent projects, visit the BluCem FSC product page below.

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