|JFK Airport Airfield Reconstruction Program|
On November 12, 2011, a lecture on John F. Kennedy International Airport's Airfield Reconstruction program was given to Long Island Branch members at Domenico's Restaurant in Levittown. The presentation was given by the Port of New York & New Jersey's James Steven, PE, Program Director JFK Physical Plant & Development; Guy Zummo, PE, Principal Design Engineer and Thomas Amoia, PE, Engineer of Construction.
At 14,572 feet in length, the Bay Runway is the longest runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Various aspects of the project were presented including its planning, design and construction. Planning required determining logistics, obtaining FAA approval for rerouting aircraft to the remaining runways while the Bay Runway was taken out of service, addressing airline concerns for their schedules as well as pre-qualifying bidders. Incentive and disincentive clauses were part of the contract.
Designing pavement for eighty-six different types of aircraft presented unique challenges and multiple iterations before approval. Additionally, the runway was widened to meet the criteria for the new Airbus A380 double-deck wide-body aircraft. This meant that new airfield lighting, signage, throats connecting taxiways and drainage had to be designed and installed. A determination as to what items could be pre-purchased was also made and adhered to. Having the designer on-site to make decisions as required on a daily basis kept the job moving.
Reconstruction of the Bay Runway had to be completed within 120 days. Concrete plants were erected on site to reduce travel times. Quality Assurance and Quality Control were major concerns particularly with regard to the depth of the concrete panels. Percentage wise, very few were removed and that was mostly due to damage after installation. Security for working on air-side was modified by installing a chain link fence to create a land side work area, thus reducing the number of security guards and secured access points for ingress and egress.
To ensure a successful project, teamwork was vital between the FAA, various Port Authority Departments, contractors, suppliers and especially the airlines, placing an importance on communication between each of the groups. To keep the airlines and all stakeholders up-to-date, newsletters were sent out which included progress statements as well as fun facts. For example, the amount of concrete that was used for the Bay Runway could fill up each of the NFL's football stadiums with two feet of concrete.
The project was completed under budget and within the allotted time frame. ASCE members learned that the Bay Runway's successful completion was due to open communications and informal partnering.
Article co-authored by Henry W. Hessing, P.E., F.ASCE
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