Commissioned to undertake preliminary designs for a new land based runway, the development of Sir Gaetan Duval Airport looks to improve the wellbeing of both the people and the economy of Rodrigues.
With expertise in airport development planning, our aviation team provides engineering based approaches that encourages innovative solutions in constrained environments. Through undertaking land surveys and additional research within early planning stages, we have been able to take full advantage by optimising full scale earthworks for Sir Gaetan Duval Airport.
Previously commissioned to extend the existing runway onto the sea, findings within our earthworks identified that the process of extending the existing runway seaward could only be undertaken by two expensive structural options – a rubble mound structure or a reinforced concrete structure.
Consequently, we have gone above and beyond to implement an innovative solution that incorporates the building of a new land based runway, opposed to the previously commissioned extension. In doing so, we are preventing substantial damage to the environment and saving an extensive amount of time and money for our clients.
A closer look
By implementing the £50 million new runway as an alternative to the £80 million rubble mound structure, we have been able to save our clients more than £30 million - a substantial amount for a small economy like Rodrigues. Additionally, through the no build of the rubble mound/reinforced concrete structure we have been able to ensure the preservation of the marine environment. Furthermore, the process of building this new runway has also allowed us to save our clients a minimum of 12 months within the construction phase – due to less restrictions and the ability to work longer hours compared to working on a live restricted site.
With multiple constraints such as the unevenness of the ground, we have undertaken two million cubic metres of earthworks and ground modelling designs for the profiling of the runway - a substantial amount for a small island like Rodrigues.
Additionally, ground penetration radar surveys and pilot drilling have been undertaken to identify the presence of environmentally protected caves and other voids, allowing us to evade disturbances that may be caused within future construction phases.
Our invaluable experience within the aviation industry has enabled us to effectively manage communications with clients and other stakeholders to create a culture that encourages knowledge sharing to ensure all aspirations are met.
The development of the new runway for Sir Gaetan Duval Airport will improve the sustainability of lives on the island and surrounding areas by offering economic growth through job creations and improvements in tourism whilst making sure we do not interfere with protected sites, species, and caves around the area we are working. Our work for the island of Rodrigues will put our stamp in the Indian ocean and help us achieve future projects.