Ostend-Bruges Airport: A Lesson in Circularity
Since April 2021, major work has been underway at Ostend-Bruges Airport to renovate aircraft parking apron 2 and extend its lifespan by 40 years. The work will be done in phases and carried out by Colas.
The project envisages 2 phases: each encompassing 70,000 m2 of concrete pavement with foundation and renovation of the sewerage network. 30-cm thick concrete paving will be installed on a 20-cm thick sub-foundation, a 28-cm thick foundation and a 5-cm asphalt sandwich layer. The concrete paving will be laid in 10-m wide strips using large slipform pavers.
The concrete pavement is composed of two layers: a sub-layer and a top layer. The advantage here is that the special porphyry aggregate with increased wear resistance is only used in the top layer. Standard aggregate is then used in the sub-layer for high concrete strength.
Because aircraft loads are much higher than the usual loads in road construction, the road concrete is applied with a thickness of 30 cm, approximately 50% thicker than a traditional concrete road.
Colas built a temporary concrete plant at the airport site at the end of June. Up to 1000 m3 of road concrete is produced per day in two different types for the sub-layer and top layer, with 6 different aggregates as base material.
In the context of circularity and sustainability, the broken-out concrete from the old pavement will be recycled by a COPRO-certified mobile crusher into 0/40 concrete aggregate that will be reused in the foundation and sub-foundation layer of the aircraft parking apron.
Thanks to this reuse, the broken-out concrete will not need to be transported to another site, and no new (sub) foundation materials will need to be supplied for the project. This on-site way of working reduces the number of trucks on the road needed to implement this project and significantly improves the environmental impact.
Hans Van De Craen, Technical Manager at COLAS: “We are proud to be able to fully deploy the concrete mixers at the airport’s special construction site, including 1 new unit purchased 3 years ago. We are also very satisfied with the way the road concrete certification process is proceeding. The fear that we might lose too much time and control over our own mixtures is completely unfounded.”
COPRO helps ensure that quality is guaranteed through technical on-site inspections. Luc Verbustel, Certification Manager Road Concrete at COPRO: “High-quality road concrete is necessary to achieve a 40-year lifespan for the aircraft parking apron. For BENOR-certified road concrete, the specific performance requirements of road concrete – such as freeze-thaw resistance and bending tensile strength – are evaluated, and the quality of the concrete is confirmed during continuous production in the BENOR certification system.”
COPRO and COLAS are proud to contribute to this project, which ensures high-quality mobility using circular methods.