Canberra Airport’s apron—which is where aircraft are parked, unloaded, loaded, refueled or boarded—has been expanded to accommodate a wider range of aircraft.
The expanded apron will accommodate 16 narrow bodied and four wide-bodied jets.
The apron extension is capable of holding the weight of three 380-tonne jets, supported by pavement and foundations 1.4 metres deep.
The apron works have included all new draining and pollution control systems, electrical and communication duct systems, aircraft ground anchorages, and earthing points.
Safety has been paramount in the apron’s expansion with new fire-fighting facilities that include in-ground fire hydrants. The airfield road has also been relocated so that passengers no longer have to cross it when boarding flights from the tarmac.
Pilots will benefit from the apron’s new nose-in guidance system which will help them correctly position their aircraft into the assigned passenger boarding bridge. The system uses laser guidance, video equipment and aircraft recognition software and will replace the need for staff on the ground to marshall planes to their assigned apron.
A new lighting system has also been designed to reduce pilot glare when maneuvering aircraft to bays. Energy efficient lights sit at the top of 25 metre poles providing light from the front to the rear of each aircraft to aid maintenance staff.
Two light poles at either end of the apron also support a storm warning system that provides alerts when major storms are at 10 km and 5 km intervals from the airfield.