Did you know that each Heathrow runway is completely resurfaced every 10 years? Take a look at our timelapse clip of the Southern Runway’s most recent resurfacing.
In 2013, Heathrow’s Southern Runway (09R or 27L for the avgeeks out there!) was resurfaced through a 6 month, £20 million project. The entire surface was replaced – equating to 171,000 square metres of runway, or the equivalent of 24 football pitches!
The runway resurfacing process involves planing 50 millimetres off the surface of the 3.8 kilometre long runway and replacing that with 21,000 tonnes of Asphalt.
Along the way 1039 Airfield Ground Lights (ALG), 72 kilometres of cabling and 13,300 square metres of paint markings have to be replaced.
Significantly the Asphalt is mixed at 170 degrees (Celsius) and has to be suitable for planes to land on one hour after being laid. As works can’t interfere with airport operations an Aircraft Crossing point has to be maintained over the runway at all times.
For information on Heathrow’s expansion plans, including a new runway to the north-west, click here.