Mangaluru, May 31, 2023: In a remarkable feat of engineering and teamwork, Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) recently accomplished a momentous milestone that has garnered attention and applause. Against all odds, the airport successfully completed the recarpeting work on its 2.45-kilometre-long runway, and the story behind this achievement is a testament to human ingenuity and determination.
It all began with a vision to improve safety and meet the stringent compliance regulations set by aviation safety authorities. The MIA team embarked on an ambitious project to overlay asphalt on the rigid runway, a pioneering technique never before implemented in India, according to the airport spokesperson. With meticulous planning and unwavering commitment, they set out to transform their vision into reality.
The clock started ticking on March 10, marking the commencement of the project. The days were filled with relentless effort, as workers toiled to complete the recarpeting within a tight timeline of just 75 working days. A staggering 81,696 tonnes of asphalt, equivalent to laying an impressive 82 kilometers of road, were utilized, and 80 sophisticated pieces of equipment were put into action.
But this project wasn’t just about the numbers. It was about overcoming challenges and finding innovative solutions. MIA had to ensure minimal disruption to the daily operations of approximately 36 aircraft movements. With careful planning and coordination, the airport authorities devised a unique strategy. They utilized an 8-1/2 hour window every day, from 9:30 am to 6 pm, known as the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) period, to carry out the recarpeting work. This ingenious approach allowed the runway to remain open for the remaining 14.5 hours, accommodating an average of 18 domestic and international flights daily.
The team’s commitment to excellence went beyond their initial plans. In their continuous pursuit of operational efficiency and passenger convenience, they extended the NOTAM period to include Sundays as well, starting from March 19. This decision added an extra layer of complexity, but it was a testament to their unwavering dedication to completing the project on time.
Through days of hard work and perseverance, the airport team overcame every obstacle they encountered. Dump trucks transported the asphalt to the runway, where pavers, road compactors, and laborers eagerly awaited their arrival. With clockwork precision, they executed their tasks, ensuring that the asphalt was evenly spread and compacted to improve the surface quality.
This project was not just about the physical transformation of the runway; it was about prioritizing safety and upholding the airport’s reputation as the safest tabletop airport in India. To further enhance future operations, MIA made provisions for the installation of runway center lighting, emphasizing their commitment to continual improvement.
As the project neared completion, the airport spokesperson expressed deep gratitude to the people of the region and the administration for their unwavering support. It was their understanding and cooperation that made it possible.