The work on the renovation of taxiways and the reconstruction of the apron started at Vilnius Airport this week. The main goal of the reconstruction project is to renew pavements and widen taxiways, create conditions for the taxiing of larger category aircraft and implement environmental solutions. Most of the work will be performed by the road and bridge construction company “Kauno tiltai”, the project is planned to be completed by the end of 2021, without interrupting the normal operations of the airport.
The total value of the contract is EUR 34 million (including VAT). Most of these reconstruction projects are partly financed by European Union funds. The scope of the project will exceed the runway reconstruction project of Vilnius Airport carried out in 2017, which cost 25 million EUR.
“Airports are constantly undergoing renewal, as the existing infrastructure needs to be cyclically renewed and upgraded to meet aviation safety requirements and environmental needs of the current time period. Also, all investments are based on calculations that their service and payback should take about 10-15 years“, – says Dainius Čiuplys, Head of Vilnius Airport.
During the first stages, taxiways F and E will be renovated in the western part of Vilnius Airport by the end of 2020. In parallel, construction works on the other side of the airport will continue during this year, where the northern apron will be reconstructed and an additional taxiway will be built.
Five highly experienced companies, including foreign enterprises, participated in the public procurement of this project.
Development of the northern apron
One of the most important parts of this contract project is the reconstruction of the northern apron of Vilnius Airport, which will include the installation of new asphalt pavement and concrete aircraft parking stands, parking stand markings, energy-efficient lighting, installation of new lights, more efficient surface water drainage solutions. In the future, this apron will also use modern Ground Power Units which will serve aircraft more conveniently.
“Currently, we see that the volume of flights has significantly decreased, but these strategically important reconstruction works are focused on the future, which will undoubtedly return a significant flow of planes and passengers to Vilnius Airport. The main challenge in organizing these reconstruction works is to do everything in a constantly operating airport, not to stop normal activities, therefore planning of operations and work flow was and will remain very important in the context of these works”, – says Arnas Dūmanas, project manager for the Vilnius Airport reconstruction program.
Reconstruction of the apron will contribute to improving aviation safety: by shortening the taxiing distance of aircraft, noise levels and CO2 emissions from aircrafts will be reduced, which is directly related to the strategic goal of Lithuanian Airports to invest in environmental protection measures.
Renovation of taxiways
The contract works will also cover strategically important parts of Vilnius Airport aerodrome – renovation of taxiways and installation of additional ones. It is planned to reconstruct the existing taxiways F and B (in 2021). The purpose of the taxiway F reconstruction is to renew the pavements, to widen the taxiway and thus increase its capacity to service higher category aircraft, to extend it and to create a faster line-up with the runway towards take-off or after landing. The purpose of the reconstruction of the B taxiway is to restore the worn-out pavements.
During the project, a new taxiway Z will be installed, which will connect the new northern apron with the runway threshold. The taxiing of aircraft on a newly constructed taxiway will reduce the occupancy and clearance of the runway. Faster and straighter taxiing to the runway will improve flight safety and reduce aircraft manoeuvring time.