For those less familiar with the giant Dutch aviation hub that is Amsterdam Schiphol, the airport operates a stunning 6 runway system. The 6 runways allow planes to take off and land at any hour of the day and night. However for the past months the European mega-hub has been operating with one of its runways closed due to maintenance work. All will soon though return to normality. Here’s what work the runway underwent and when it’ll be back online.
Which of Schiphol Airport’s Runways Underwent Maintenance?
The runway that had to undergo maintenance was the so called “Zwanenburgbaan”, or for non Dutch people runway 18C/36C. The runway gets it’s name for the nearby town of Zwanenburg. This is a 3.300 meter long runway making it the 5th longest present at Schiphol Airport.
What Kind Of Maintenance Work Was Done?
Although was due for regularly scheduled maintenance Zwanenburgbaan (runway 18C/36C), this was definitely no small job. In fact while shut down to traffic, this is what work was done on the 3.300 meter runway:
- The asphalt was renewed. Runways need to be repaved every 40 to 60 years depending on usage and weather they are exposed to.
- 12.000 square meters of markings were replaced.
- 6km of runway guttering and drains were replaced.
- All of the runway’s lighting and electrical cabling was changed to become more energy efficient. The runway lights are now LEDs which will ensure better performance, reliability and lower energy usage.
ILS Update and Testing
Also The ILS (Instrument Landing System) on the northern section was updated during the down time of Zwanenburgbaan runway. This means that the runway is up to date with the latest approach assist technologies but has to go through a testing phase before it can be used in all weather conditions for commercial flights using ILS. However it is immediately active for landings and takeoffs in good weather conditions.
There will therefore be test flights carried out to test Zwanenburgbaan’s updated ILS. This can only be done once the maintenance has be totally completed. Right now the tests are scheduled to take place on the 13, 15 and 20 of May 2023. After the tests have been completed successfully the runway will need to operate reliably and stably for 30 days before it can be used in low visibility conditions with its updated ILS.