Work under way to extend a taxiway at Canberra Airport will mean less time on the tarmac for passengers, more efficient and safer aircraft movements and pave the way for expanded freight operations.
Canberra Airport says the extended Taxiway B will replace Taxiway A, the current, historic taxiway that was built at the same time as the original hangars, in the 1940s.
When completed, the extended taxiway will reduce the amount of time planes take to taxi to the terminal.
At present, planes after landing must leave the runway and taxi on historic taxiway A, on the far side of the airfield, and are then required to cross the main runway to reach the terminal, which often requires waiting for other planes to land before they can cross.
Eventually, Taxiway B will run the entire length of the main runway at Canberra Airport, closer to the terminal, eliminating the need for planes to wait and cross the runway to get to the terminal via taxiway A.
Head of Aviation, Michael Thomson said planes continue to get bigger and passengers were increasingly time poor and needed more efficient travel.
“We believe every minute matters for passengers and this taxiway will save passengers’ time while creating more valuable national infrastructure for our capital city,” he said.
“In future, it can help us expand operations to include more freight-carrying and wide-bodied planes, as well as further improving safe aircraft movement.”
Work has begun to identify existing underground infrastructure that could potentially be impacted by extending taxiway B, which currently only runs two-thirds of the length of the main runway.
Visitors flying into the airport can already see the area marked with bright orange bollards, cones and silt fencing. Construction will begin in the next few weeks and last 12-18 months with a team of more than 80 workers.
Work will take place during the day and at times through the night after the last flights have landed, with the cross runway remaining open 24 hours a day.
“Canberra Airport is recognised by the ACT and NSW Governments as a global gateway to our international city and the region,” says Mr Thomson. “This will allow planes to vacate our runway more quickly and get visitors to our nation’s capital on their way.”