If you are planning to fly into Salzburg, Austria in the next month you may want to reassess your travel plans. The airport is closing for almost five weeks from April 24th to May 28th. This closure is because of extensive runway maintenance work happening at the airport (SZG). At almost 60 years old, the runway being replaced was first concreted in May 1960. Over the years the runway has received numerous partial renovations but now requires more extensive refurbishment.
In their official statement Salzburg Airport says:
Airports are infrastructures that are subject to constant change. Again and again, it is necessary to carry out small repairs and maintenance work in order to ensure all airport operations run safely and without disruption.
Impacted by this closure are numerous airlines including Austrian, British Airways, easyJet, Eurowings, Norwegian, Ryanair, SAS and Turkish Airlines. Many more airlines fly to Salzburg Airport but only operate seasonal service.
According to an article from International Flight Network, Turkish Airlines will relocate its flights to Linz, Austria, which is located 107 kilometres northeast of Salzburg. Linz is well connected via road and rail. Austrian Airlines is providing alternate options as well, offering more train service between Salzburg Central Station and Vienna Airport. This means existing AIRail services are increasing from three to up to 30 daily train connections.
The renovation process
The runway maintenance will consist of the application of four layers. Crews will apply each layer over the span of 4-5 days. While applying the 4th and final layer, more modern LED runway lights will go in as well. Following this, workers will spray the runway clean and paint all appropriate markings. Then inspections and tests will take place. The first landing on the new runway will take place on May 29th.
Replacing the runway is no small task. Over the course of the month, 200 construction workers will work from 6am to 10pm. 120,000 tons of asphalt will go into the structures using 80-100 trucks. 200km of high and low voltage cable will be laid and 1000 inset LED lights will go into the structure.
Furthermore, Salzburg Airport stated:
The general refurbishment does not include any displacement of the runway or changes of the actual flight routes. The length of the new runway and all the taxiways will not change either.
Not just Salzburg
Salzburg is not the only airport in the region to close for renovations this year. In July, Milan’s Linate airport will close for three months for repairs and maintenance. The exact dates are 27th July to 27th October 2019. The airport is located just six miles east of the city centre.
Further afield, a runway at Dubai International Airport (DXB) is also undergoing some maintenance.