While Covid-19 restrictions have had a huge impact on travel and flight operations around the globe, the crisis has also provided a silver lining for the international gateway to Central New Zealand.
Wellington Airport is a bustling city and regional transport hub, facilitating travel for over six million travellers each year in and out of greater Wellington.

Accordingly, the runway is critical infrastructure and must be resurfaced every 10-12 years to ensure the ongoing safety and efficiency of airport operations – with works originally scheduled for the 2021/22 summer.

As Covid-19 restrictions through 2020/21 resulted in a lack of international flights, we joined up with long-time collaborative partners Wellington International Airport Limited and Fulton Hogan to consider the challenge, and the opportunity the unique situation presented.

Together, we identified the chance to bring forward the planned runway resurfacing and make the most of a longer night-time working window – enabling us to achieve in just eight months, what would normally take up to 18.

There were two main parts to the project; milling and paving to replace the runway surface, and grooving across the full width and length of the runway surface to improve water run-off and traction.

We led the collaborative design of the new runway surface, administered the contract, provided construction set out services as well as using UAV surveys to help bring the project to life.

Noise reduction was a key focus throughout, given the airport’s location in a residential neighbourhood, and with the runway resurfacing work needing to happen overnight to prevent significant disruption to airline schedules. Measures included independent expert advice upfront, noise management plans, optimised equipment, clear and consistent stakeholder communication, monitoring and review.

A sustainable approach and care for the environment were also at the heart of the project. Around 35,000 tonnes of asphalt was removed and replaced on the runway through the course of the project – with 100 percent of the old asphalt sustainably recycled by Fulton Hogan for use on roading projects around the Wellington region.

Having worked together on the last resealing 11 years ago, this project was a great opportunity to continue our partnership, and deliver safe and quality outcomes for Wellington locals and visitors.


Total cost of the project


Approx. tonnes of asphalt


Years’ indicative design life

Wellington Airport runway
PHOTO CREDIT: Elevo Commercial Drone Services
PHOTO CREDIT: Elevo Commercial Drone Services
PHOTO CREDIT: Elevo Commercial Drone Services
PHOTO CREDIT: Elevo Commercial Drone Services
Wellington Airport runway

Our team says…

All three of the parties got together to realise this opportunity – starting with the design process, where we joined forces to come up with the design solution and take advantage of this unique opportunity of reduced traffic.

Matt Sanders

Engineer to Contract / Beca Project Director

Our client says…

The collaboration on this project has been fantastic, and I think the fact that we have been able to pull off the design in three months and start onsite without delay is testament to that.

Nick Petkov

Head of Airfield Development and Delivery at Wellington Airport

Our People

Adam Vorstermans

Associate - Civil Engineering

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Matt Sanders

Hawke’s Bay Market Leader

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Tristan Hughes

Technical Director - Airport Engineering

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