Ready for takeoff

Repaving the runway happens every three decades or so and the News Review recently visited the airport to take it all in

Steam from the hot asphalt rises in the cool night air as Island Asphalt workers ensure the transitions between paved areas are level and smooth.

After the last jet has landed at the Victoria International Airport, a team of people, trucks and floodlights scurry onto the main runway to add another 120 to 160 meters of hot asphalt.

Since June 16, the Victoria Airport Authority has closed its runway to allow crews from Island Asphalt to resurface the airstrip — something that only happens every three decades or so. Alex Evans, consulting project engineer with Tetra Tech EDA, says crews will be wrapping up the project soon, having ensured the new surface is even and smooth and inspected to ensure it’s cleared for landing.

Between 11:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., paving crews work against the clock to add new asphalt — a fine mix of materials to ensure the smooth airstrip — and put in temporary ramps to keep the runway level.

The project is part of the VAA’s ongoing airport maintenance and improvements planning. Evans said workers communicate with VAA, NavCan and airport fire services to coordinate the work and ensure everyone on the ground and in the air, is safe.