Abu Dhabi International Airport is undergoing a major transformation. Additional runway capacity is being added and a new Midfield Terminal is under construction. Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is tasked to ensure that the airport provides world-class services to meet the demands for the next decades. Key in the Abu Dhabi Airport development is upgrading the existing south runway to achieve A380 compatibility and allow operations in all weather conditions. ADAC retained the services of a team consisting of Netherlands Airport Consultants and Deerns to prepare the design and provide construction administration services.
The South Airfield Project entails the resurfacing of the South Runway complete with replacement of all airfield ground lighting, construction of a new parallel taxiway and cargo aprons in the East Midfield area. As part of the refurbishment and upgrade works for the south runway, Deerns was responsible for the design of all airfield lighting, the new instrument landing systems for both runway 13R and 31L, upgrading of the meteorological systems and installation of additional Multilateration (MLAT) sensors for the ASMGCS system.
Before the rehabilitation works the 13R runway was certified for Category I operations; after completion both the 13R and 31L runways are now CAT IIIB certified, allowing operation on all but the most adverse conditions; avoiding costly delays and diversions. Both ILS systems have DME collocated with the Glideslope systems to provide continuous distance information to aircraft on approach. In addition to upgrading the all-weather capability of the runway system, the project has ensured full compliance of runway 13R/31L for A380 operations by widening the runway from 45 to 60m. Deerns has thus helped to ensure safety and continuity of operations; essential to the success of Etihad as a network carrier with transferring passengers greatly exceeding the O&D traffic.