August 19 is National Aviation Day in the United States. The day marks the impact and wonder of flight on the world. Here, we revisit a runway reinforcement story that shows one of the many ways geosynthetics help bring aviators back to earth safely.
The national airport in Minsk has been undergoing significant construction as it prepares to decommission what has been its primary runway. The new runway, which is being engineered to support the larger, more diverse aircraft used today, began construction in late 2016. A runway reinforcement solution from Machina-TST was utilized, ensuring that the new system supports not just larger aircraft but the more stringent safety and performance standards in the most recent airport regulations.
The airport’s update has been greatly needed. In 2005, the airport handled fewer than 600,000 passengers. Today, Minsk National Airport (IATA: MSQ) handles more than 3.5 million passengers.
The runway base layer was reinforced with a geocomposites, Multitex PET from Machina. The extensive works have used 340,000 m2 of this geotextile-geogrid material. The composite solution provides not just runway reinforcement but soil separation and filtration and drainage support.
The product combines the strength of a Stradex PET geogrid (also manufactured by Machina) with a nonwoven substrate.
The decision to use geosynthetic reinforcement in the new runway design helped the site operator save considerably on inert materials. The runway reinforcement layer provided exceptional structure and achieved the required modulus of elasticity more efficiently than a non-reinforced, aggregate-intensive system would have.
The original design actually planned for a polypropylene material reinforced with threads; but further site analysis and materials review led the project team to select a polyester-based composite reinforcement.
Roughly 300 people and 100 pieces of equipment have been involved in the daily construction works at the national airport in Minsk. Machina-TST’s team has been on site to inspect the geogrid installation work and to confirm compliance with all technological requirements of the handling and installation of materials.
The second runway is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018, at which point the original runway will be torn up and rebuilt.
For more information on Machina-TST’s geosynthetics, engineering expertise, and international work, visit www.mahina-tst.com.