Komo International Airport, Papua New Guinea

The remote location and the limited road system in the PNG Highlands provided a logistical challenge for Aurecon to excavate land and transport materials for construction of Komo Airport.

Aurecon tackled the runway and embankment design by introducing the use of geosynthetics to stabilise the terrain. Through analysis and consultation with the client, Esso Australia, the geosynthetics improved the load bearing capability of the pavement materials.

The 3.2 kilometre runway can now handle the world’s largest aircraft – the Antonov – needed to transport large and sensitive equipment to the PNG LNG field.

In order to construct the airport more than 10 million cubic metres of volcanic soil had to be moved. This required detailed soil analysis by Aurecon in preparation for excavation, transportation and placement of the local volcanic soils. The analysis also included slope stability during construction and the ultimate stability of the embankments, as some embankments were up to 30m high.

Aurecon analysed the strength of many bridges along the route to site, and also undertook a detailed analysis of the road geometry to cater for the wide and heavy loads.

Aurecon provided advice to the ExxonMobil community engagement team, the advice was in relation to the extent of works, the likely impacts to the environment and the measures that had been put in place to alleviate any negative impacts.

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