7 Sep 2016

NACO has been selected to conduct the design review and supervision of the upgrading of the runway at Colombo International Airport in Sri Lanka which includes pavement rehabilitation and airfield ground lighting upgrading works.


NACO will work with the Airport Authorities of Sri Lanka (AASL) within a joint venture with local partner Engineering Consultants Limited (ECL).

Colombo is the main international airport for Sri Lanka and with just one runway, any upgrades performed on the runway have to operate in a very demanding and high-pressured environment.

Fer Mooren, Leading Professional Airside at NACO commented: “This agreement reflects a long-standing relationship we hold with Colombo Airport, having designed and supervised construction of the original runway in the mid-1980s. Now, 35 years later, the runway is having its first major rehabilitation – proof that the original runway has performed excellently for over three decades.”

During construction, the contractor will only be able to work on the runway during an 8-hour period each day. Air traffic has to continue outside those working hours.

“Each day, there will be huge pressure on both the contractor – and us as supervisor – to ensure that the runway is handed over to the operations team on time. During the first hour after re-opening, around 15 arrivals will have to be accommodated, which include a number of long-haul flights,” concluded Fer Mooren.

The design reviews commenced on 1st September 2016, and construction works on the runway are scheduled to take place from January-April 2017. The total project, which also includes some works on taxiways and aprons, will take around a year to complete.

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Marina Le-Tran

Communications Coordinator, Maritime & Aviation

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