The 2018/2019 development plan for Linate Airport approved by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, provided for the complete renovation of the airport to plans presented by the management company Sea SpA. As well as major work on the terminals, the plan included the total reconstruction of the runway, requiring that the airport be closed for three months, from 27 July to 27 October 2019.
To see its competitiveness restored, Milan Linate Airport needed a new runway. It required work not just to improve, optimize and maintain the existing infrastructure, which had been added to at various times, but a drastic reconstruction involving the complete demolition of the existing runway built partly of concrete, partly of asphalt.
This reconstruction of the airport’s runway (Category B1) was not a colossal project in terms of its extent and size, but a highly specialized undertaking because of the intrinsic complexity of the work, particularly the dismantling and necessary technical preparation involving innovative solutions and specific experience of airport installations. Because of the very tight and demanding schedule, the airport authorities called on the expertise of Artifoni SpA and Vitali SpA, which formed a consortium to take up the challenge of this major contract – one that was bound to attract a great deal of public and media attention.
Besides having an impressive portfolio of projects to their credit, Impresa Stradale Artifoni SpA and Vitali SpA offered the further reassurance of having worked together on several occasions to extend and carry out extraordinary maintenance at Orio al Serio Airport, Italy’s third-ranking airport in terms of passenger numbers in 2019. The works comprised a complete reconstruction of the main runway, as well as the access roads and taxiways.
Sika Italia has played its part in the success of this project, supporting Artifoni SpA by providing sealing technologies and systems for the runway guide lights. Among the various products and technologies deployed, the system that remains highly visible and which is vital for safety on the runway, was the surface-level sealing of the lights that mark the runway and runway edges. The product used was Sikaflex ®-406 KC: a single-component, self-levelling, elastic and quickdrying sealant for ground-level joints requiring a high degree of mechanical and chemical strength. The rapid, even, hardening of the sealant is obtained by adding Sikaflex®-406 KC Booster.
Using this system, it was possible to create a seal between the external edges of the runways lights and the asphalt of the runway that is both impermeable and resistant to wear and tear. The sealants technical characteristics guarantee high performance and durability even in extreme conditions, for example when the outdoor environment, including the road surface, is subject to major variations in temperature, corrosive substances such as aircraft fuel, stress and shocks from constant wear, and sudden strong impacts (from tyres when aircraft are taking off or landing).