Vilnius Airport Eyes Quicker and More Sustainable Aircraft Handling after Completing Taxiway Renovation
An important stage of aerodrome reconstruction works has been completed at Vilnius Airport with two aircraft taxiways located in the southern part of the airport being modernised. After completing the project, the airport will have enhanced operational safety, also allowing it to handle aircraft quicker and ‘greener’.
The Head of Vilnius Airport, Dainius Čiuplys, states that the infrastructure of the airport is cyclical and requires reconstruction every 10-15 years, so that they would comply with aviation safety and environment protection requirements. It is planned that these investments will pay-off during the same period of time.
“We aspired to execute all the works and to resume using the especially important taxiways again within approximately half a year, therefore, we have employed a lot of contractors from the very beginning. Both of the modernised taxiways are already being used, whereas we are planning to extend one of them in parallel to the runway and this way to create a parallel taxiway, which would enable the aircraft to move within the airport in a more convenient and faster way.”
According to the Head of the airport, the completed reconstructed taxiways do not only ensure safer movement of the aircraft, but also decrease the time required for taxiing, so saving fuel and emitting less. It is assessed that having reconstructed and extended the taxiway which is parallel to the runway, the environment pollution during every taxiing of the aircraft will be reduced by almost half.
During the reconstruction of both taxiways, the systems for collecting and cleaning surface sewage were also improved, whereas LED lights installed on the taxiways decrease the amounts of the electricity consumed by the entire airport.
The length of the currently reconstructed part of one of the taxiways (F), which runs in parallel to the runway, is almost one and a half kilometre, whereas the length of another taxiway (E) is approximately 116 meters.
It is planned to renovate the current surfaces, to expand them, to introduce energy saving and environmentally friendly solutions during the reconstruction of Vilnius Airport, which commenced in the middle of 2020.
Most of the works are implemented by road and bridge construction company “Kauno tiltai”. It is planned that the project will be complete by the end of 2021, without suspending the operations of the airport. The total value of reconstruction works amounts to 34 million Euros, most of the renovation projects are co-financed by European Union funds.
Talking about the reconstruction plans in 2021, Mr. Čiuplys emphasized that from now on, most works will take place in the northern part of the airport – a significant share of the works at this location are already half-way through.
“The northern part of the aerodrome is a location which encompasses especially many reconstruction works. We are planning to install new and to reconstruct the current taxiways, to create a completely new northern apron and parking stands for bigger aircraft, to connect the previously mentioned apron with the runway for ensuring faster movement there, which also consequently means smaller impact for the environment. We are getting ready for the nearest future, when we will have to control growing aviation flows again and provide efficient services to the airlines.”
During the next year new aircraft de-icing areas will also be installed and the construction of sewage cleaning system will be commenced. Furthermore, the installation of ground power units will be continued, new surface sewage collection solutions will be implemented.
This article was originally published by State Enterprise Lithuanian Airports.
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