Airport actuality

Paris-Orly Airport Opening of runway 4 after renovation work on an exceptional scale

On Friday 25 August 2017, the renovation of runway 4 was completed one week early. This was made possible thanks to the efforts of all the worksite partners and through constant attention to the duration of each phase of the work in order to limit the inconvenience to local residents. Following thorough preparations, the work went smoothly, with no technical glitches and very favourable weather conditions.
On 25 July, runway 4 was closed to allow renovation work to be undertaken and to bring it into compliance with new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations. The runway had initially been scheduled to open to traffic on 1 September.

To maintain an excellent operational level, Groupe ADP undertook a vast renovation programme on runway 4 organised over two summers, in 2016 and 2017. The companies that worked on the project were chosen on the basis of the dual criteria of safety compliance and time constraints.

Renovation work on runway 4 in 2017 Photo Groupe ADP-Alain Leduc

The overall worksite was divided into 40 sub-projects, including:

  • Renovation of the runway surface
    Renovation of the asphalt overlay on the runway with accentuation of the runway cross- section. Planed to a depth of 8cm, the old overlay would produce 34,000 tonnes of material, some which was reused on site.
  • Bringing the runway ends into compliance with EASA regulations
    The west end of the runway was extended by 240m for the RESA (runway end safety area), with a reinforced ground structure. This extension makes it possible to deal with undershoot landings. The work on the east end of the runway was completed in 2016.
  • Improved runway performance for west-facing landings
    Approach lights were installed to allow for category III operations (all-weather landings). The landing-aid equipment (cat. III ILS) will be installed by the French civil aviation authority (DGAC).
  • Upgrading of the lighting system to LED technology
    LED lights are more economical when it comes to energy consumption and maintenance. Alongside the economic aspect, LED lights also offer better visibility and greater durability.
  • Removal of all obstacles within a zone of 150m from the runway
    Manholes were protected and reinforced, and service roads for wildlife-hazard prevention were moved to a distance of more than 150m from the runway.

Runway 4 renovation - key figures:

  • Runway length: 3,650m
  • 40 companies and 700 people worked on the site
  • The work covered a surface area of 470,000 sq.m; equivalent to 65 football pitches
  • 170,000 sq.m of runway, 250,000 sq.m of graded strip, and 50,000 sq.m of RESA
  • 11 km of multi-tube cable duct for network distribution
  • 138 km of cables removed and 220 km relaid
  • 1,870 runway lights

The project was managed by the Engineering & Development Division of Groupe ADP, which acted as the delegated project owner and prime contractor. The work was entrusted to a consortium of companies - Eurovia, Jean Lefebvre, Émulithe.
“As part of the Connect 2020 strategic plan, this renovation is in line with the priority given to maintenance in terms of investments throughout the 2016-2020 period," explained Franck Mereyde, Managing Director of Paris-Orly Airport.


Paris-Orly: key figures (2016 data)
Leading French airport for domestic flights
Second-busiest French airport, all traffic combined 12th-busiest airport in Europe
31.3 million passengers in 2016 153 destinations in 47 countries 37 airlines
234,453 aircraft movements in 2016 Up to 72 aircraft movements per hour

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