Runway upgrade at Noi Bai airport to complete before new year

By Ngoc Thanh, Doan Loan   December 24, 2020 | 08:00 am GMT+7
The upgrade of runway 1B at Noi Bai International Airport will be finished this month to serve Lunar New Year travel demand.
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Workers renovate runway 1B as part of a general Noi Bai airport upgrade.
The overall project involves renovating and upgrading both 11L/29R runway (1A, outdoors) and 11R/29L runway (1B, near the tarmac); as well as building three new rapid exit taxiways. Runway 1B had been seriously damaged after 16 years of operation while runway 1A is of better quality thanks to an upgrade six years ago.
The first phase of the airport upgrade with a total investment of VND2.03 trillion ($87.4 million) was set for completion six months prior to Lunar New Year, the biggest holiday for Vietnamese, in February next year. Progress remains on schedule with 98 percent of work on runway 1B completed.

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Runway 1B, which stretches 3,800 meters and spans 45 meters, had its surface replaced by a new 40-centimeter-thick layer of reinforced concrete. Areas too heavily damaged would be rebuilt from scratch.

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The runway surface is covered with mastic, a suitable waterproofing membrane used in all types of green roofs and known for its long term performance and durability. Slits were added to avoid the concrete from becoming slippery.

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Along both sides of the runway is a 40-meter-wide corridor strip for safety.

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Workers install ground signal lights along the runway.
The project was implemented with Noi Bai still fully operational. From July 1 to 26, the airport closed runway 1A and taxiway S7, leaving only runway 1B. During this time, workers built a new S7B taxiway next to taxiway S7.

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The entire renovation of runway 1B will be assessed on Friday.
Nguyen Quang Trung, from Thang Long Project Management Board, who represents the project investor, said 800-1,000 workers have been toiling to upgrade the airport, with up to 2,000 deployed on peak days.

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A worker measures an area set to be painted with navigation marks.

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A worker walks along runway 1B as an aircraft takes off on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Since 2017, Noi Bai has been chronically overloaded, receiving new-generation aircraft with huge loads, which has degraded its runways and taxiways. The number of passengers and cargo passing through the airport has been increasing by an average 10 percent per year to nearly 26 million passengers in 2018 and about 29 million in 2019. However, the airport is only designed to handle 25 million passengers per year, with domestic terminal T1 having a capacity of 15 million and international terminal T2 servicing the remaining 10 million.

 
 
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