A runway is a defined area at an airport, most commonly made from asphalt and concrete, for takeoff and landing of aircraft.
A runway is a defined area at an airport for the takeoff and landing of aircraft. Depending on the airport, this area could be nothing more than a strip of grass, dirt, or sand. However, most airport runways are made from asphalt and concrete.
There are three types of runways. The first is a visual runway that may or may not have any markings, and the pilot only needs to see the runway to land on it. The second is a non-precision instrument runway and can be found at many small- to mid-sized airports. The third is the precision instrument runways you see at medium and large airports around the world. These runways provide both horizontal and vertical guidance for instrument approaches.
Similar to highways, the health of the runway pavement directly affects passenger and worker safety. While the FAA conducts yearly inspections at U.S. airports, the airport itself carries out daily checks.
These inspections are sight inspections made by workers and are exposed to the risk of certain types of pavement faults going unnoticed. This was the case at Aberdeen Airport, and so Ferrovial Airports took the initiative and created a tool that would allow workers performing this job to reduce errors. Our Airport division teamed up with Vaisala, a Finnish company specializing in products and services for environmental and industrial measurement, to develop an artificial intelligence tool called VIOMINER that helps monitor the condition and evolution of the pavements.
Inspections are not only necessary for maintaining safety, but they also affect the airport’s economic outcomes. If runways are not properly maintained, costs of repair are not only higher, but you also include the costs of closure while maintenance works are taking place.
Regenerative construction on a runway must be carried out at least three times faster than a roadway because you want the runway to be closed for the least time possible. This construction is done with an army of resources and worked in continual 24-hour shifts.
For example, Ditecpesa supplied Ferrovial Construction with 300 tons of polymer-modified bitumen per day for producing the pavement necessary for renovating the runway at Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport. The job was completed in a record time of 24 continuous hours for five consecutive days, regenerating 70,000 tons of flexible pavement. The following video shows the amazing footage of these renovation works.