Sunshine Coast Airport welcomes the arrival of the first flight on its new runway.

Airport apron gets tick despite ‘hairline’ crack

Planes and jets can park on a concrete slab with a "hairline crack" at the new airport runway after independent certification was granted.

The "minor defect" caused a three month delay in certification for the airport apron built as part of the $330 million expansion project.

Sunshine Coast Council's recently released project update said the "very fine hairline shrinkage cracks" were found on the surface of some of the slabs.

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It was understood by the Daily the cracking occurred during a chemical drying and setting process.

A council spokesman said the apron, constructed in October, was recently given the green light.

The spokesman said the project contractor and independent certifier "finalised matters" and that remedial work was not necessary.

Sunshine Coast Airport new runway tarmac. Pictured, Gareth Williamson general manager aviation business development and Ross Ullman project director Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Sunshine Coast Airport new runway tarmac. Pictured, Gareth Williamson general manager aviation business development and Ross Ullman project director Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

"It is normal for mass unreinforced concrete to exhibit fine hairline shrinkage cracking in the surface," he said.

"Additional advice was sought from industry experts on this matter."

To reduce the impact of the delay the apron was transferred into a new "separable portion 4".

The council report said that allowed for completion of "separable portion 3" on December 14, last year.

Sunshine Coast Airport runway expansion May 2020
Sunshine Coast Airport runway expansion May 2020

It said that allowed for the opening of the runway starter extension and taxiway.

The upgrades mean the airport can cater to larger, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 planes which weigh up to 220 tonnes fully-loaded.

"The independent certifier is independent of council, the contractor and the Sunshine Coast Airport and ensures that the construction complies with the specified design and quality requirements," the council spokesman said.

"The apron has now been certified.

"Operational safety matters, as always, rest with the airport operator."

Council funded the project by borrowings under an agreement it would be repaid in full by airport leaseholder Palisade Investment Partners.



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