Palanga Airport launches major modernisation reconstruction works
Palanga Airport has now begun significant reconstruction work to renovate and modernise the airport’s runway, taxiway, and platform.
Credit: Palanga Airport
Minister for Transport, Marius Skuodis for Palanga Airport (PLQ), together with representatives from Palanga city municipality and Lithuanian Airports, announced the start of reconstruction at Palanga Airport. Starting from 6 September 2021, Palanga Airport is closed for a minimum period of 45 days, during which runway, taxiway and platform will be modernised, aircraft ramp will be reconstructed, and illumination systems and utilities network will be modernised.
Marius Skuodis said: “After having systemically evaluated priorities of all Lithuanian Airports, we have managed to start the implementation of this project and to organise its financing. We are extremely grateful to the Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and my colleague Gintarė Skaistė, with the help of whom we are able to talk about such a short closure of Palanga airport for its reconstruction.”
According to Chief Executive Officer of Lithuanian Airports, Marius Gelžinis, preparation works for reconstruction of Palanga Airport were started already in April 2021.
“We are extremely happy that Ministry for Transport provided funding to this extremely important project of reconstructions. This is a project of big volume and modernisation of specific infrastructure and successful implementation of this project mainly depends on preparation, which should be professionally managed. We have assigned the management of this project to our specialist team, who has experience of implementation of analogous contract works,” added Gelžinis.
According to him, regarding strategical planning of activities, modernisation of infrastructure in Palanga Airport will assure compliance of the airports to all international aviation safety and security requirements and will also ensure our capability to successfully develop flights in Palanga Airport in a such competitive region of aviation.
According to Palanga City Mayor, Šarūnas Vaitkus, Palanga Airport is very important, not only to Palanga city. Since infrastructure of this airport will be modernised, it will help to create an additional value not only to the Western Lithuanian region, but to the whole country, also.
Vaitkus commented: “Palanga airport starts to attract foreign tourists to this region. In addition to this, the airport facilitates regional companies to reach their clients rapidly and comfortably in the whole EU. Many inhabitants of the Western Lithuania region use services at Palanga Airport to comfortably reach various countries. After having modernised this airport infrastructure, trips will become even more comfortable and safer, and there will be more possibilities to attract new destinations to Palanga.”
The Executive Director of Latvian company A.C.B., which will conduct the main contract works of the airport, Armands Svikis added that all preparation works for reconstruction are already accomplished, therefore the company has prepared to launch the reconstruction.
“Now we can express our happiness that the preparation was successful, and we will start reconstruction works according to the schedule,” said Svikis. “Airport reconstruction projects for us are not something new, since we have a lot of experience in this field; we have successfully accomplished Vilnius airport reconstruction, therefore we are sure that the reconstruction of Palanga airport taxiway and runway will also be smooth.”
Operation of Palanga Airport will be interrupted for the shortest possible time, which is 45 days, starting from 6 September to 20 October 2021. During the most active time of contract works, the company will work continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, therefore, the airport will be closed, and no flights will be organised.
After having finished the reconstruction works in October 2021, the operation of Palanga Airport will be resumed, and all flights will take place as usual. Remaining reconstruction works will take place until the 2 December 2021 and all processes will be implemented in operating airport.
In the whole territory of airport, including subcontractors’ resources, 340 specialists will work, and 120 construction technique will be used. A contractor will modernise almost 2.3km long and 45m width runway, including newly constructed lateral edges, which improve safety of aircrafts runway.
During this project, around 170,000m2 of old surface will be dismantled. Almost all construction materials or 90 per cent, which will occur during the reconstruction works will be recycled and reused. Non-recyclable materials will be transferred to authorised company, who operate in the relevant field.
Furthermore, during reconstruction works, mainly Lithuanian materials will be used, such as asphalt mixture, minerals, and some wells, as well as pipes, cables, illumination system of LED light signals, water treatment systems and other components will be procured from other EU countries. For the modernisation of the infrastructure in total around 83,000 tonnes of asphalt mixtures, 190,000 tonnes of minerals, 800 tonnes of concrete will be used.
Modernisation of Palanga Airport, according to the newest international standards, will ensure safe operation of the airport and faster servicing of aircrafts. A renovated runway and taxiway will assure not only a safe movement of aircrafts, but also save their fuel consumption. After the reconstruction, the airport will become more environmentally friendly, because one part of reconstruction works will be related to precisely environmental requirements. Moreover, engineering solutions will improve collection of surface waste waters and water treatments and the implemented LED lights will reduce quantities of consumed electricity of the whole airport.
Even though important construction works are planned, which due to strict deadlines will take place 24 hours per day, inhabitants should feel only a minimal impact of reconstruction. The contractor will also strive to limit noise during nighttime. Modernisation of Palanga Airport is planned in such a way that it should not have a negative impact to the environment. A monitoring plan for environmental effects, specifically prepared to this project, includes necessary measures to reduce noise and dust including banks of earth, regular watering of bulk materials and other solutions.