Auckland Airport Runway Project


Have you ever thought much about the runways at the airport?

Sure, you might give them a passing thought every time you take off or touch down on the ground after a flight. But, have you considered the upkeep?

A runway is much more than a stretch of asphalt.

In fact, a runway is actually something of a technological marvel with state of the art equipment designed to keep you, the other passengers, and flight crews safe every time a plane takes off or lands.

Which is why it was vital to get every element right on the recent Runway upgrade project DGE completed for Airways.


The Challenge

Replacing the specialist inground runway lighting equipment in a fully functioning airport

At the time of this project, Auckland was the busiest airport in the world! While other airports around the world had ground to a halt, the Auckland airport was still operating at full tilt, despite the global pandemic that was taking place.

So, as you can imagine, replacing the key AGL lighting elements on the runways in a fully functioning airport was a bit of a challenge. Especially in the middle of winter when the weather was at its worst.

Because there were planes flying overhead 24/7, the DGE team even had to work behind a specially installed blast screen to protect them from the jet wash.


The Scope Of The Job

Installation of specialist AGL lighting in new concrete slabs in the touchdown zone

Auckland Airport were undergoing a project to replace ageing concrete slabs on the runway at the eastern end of the touchdown zone. Within those slabs are the touchdown zone and centre line lights for the runways.

These lights are what help to guide the pilots to land in the correct part of the touchdown zone and on the correct runway. So, it was vital that they were installed correctly.

The whole project scope was to replace the inground lighting and the cabling to it. As the main circuitry is high voltage, this involved a process of connecting a primary circuit and then running secondary circuits to the light fittings.


The Solution

Timely installation of specialist lighting equipment by an expert team

With this project, time was of the essence. It is not ideal to have a portion of the airport’s runways out of action long term. So, the DGE team had to work quickly and efficiently to complete the lighting upgrade project in a timely manner.

Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) is a specialist lighting product specific to airport needs. Therefore, not every electrician has the skills or knowledge to work with it. Fortunately, the DGE team is highly skilled in this area, having completed many airport projects before.

Communication is always key in any project. But, even more vital when trying to operate consistent domestic and international travel and transport in the same workspace as an electrical installation! For that reason, the DGE team were in constant liaison with the head contractor, Airways Corporation and the Airport themselves to keep the project on track and completed on time.


The Outcome

A fully functioning touchdown zone with high quality AGL lighting

Despite the difficult conditions, DGE completed the project on time, to an extremely high standard and delivered a faultless AGL lighting system for the busy Auckland Airport’s eastern end.

This meant that the runways could be back to optimum capacity. They opened on time and without any faults. As always, Airways Corporation were extremely impressed with what DGE delivered.

DGE is one of Auckland’s most highly regarded electrical engineering firms. Their skill, experience and workmanship is the main reason that Airways and the Auckland Airport engaged their services again. They knew they needed the best!

Don’t hesitate to contact us here at DGE to find out how we can ensure your next electrical project is completed smoothly no matter the situation!
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