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Spotlight

Assuring a Smooth Takeoff for NAICM

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 23:21

In October 2020, NAICM will receive its first flight and take on the responsibility of fulfilling Mexico’s growing demands. But before this can take place, the Mexican infrastructure industry must face the challenge of constructing one of the largest airports in the world. The biggest obstacles companies will face in the construction of NAICM is the unique characteristics of the subsoil, which is composed of 80 percent water and 20 percent clay. POSTENSA, leader in the design and construction of post-tensioned constructions, has approached the construction of the NAICM’s airstrips from an innovative angle and proposes the use of a post-tension system.

The project requires the construction of three simultaneous airstrips that have a width of 60m, with 7.5m security margins and 112.5m of safety strip on each side. In order to adapt to the unique characteristics of the subsoil, POSTENSA, has developed rigid airstrips made from post-tensioned concrete that provide the lightest solution possible without impacting the soil’s natural state. Traditional construction methods are not compatible with the subsoil, causing the asphalt to settle and crack. In addition, the reception of planes like the Airbus A850 will constantly place an additional 60 tons of force onto the strips. This technology minimizes the forces transmitted into the ground by the runways’ daily operations. The post-tensioned concrete distributes the load that affects the runway the strip can support and because it is more lightweight, it is able to confront the subsidence in a homogenous manner. This would increase the durability of the airstrips and lower the costs of maintenance due to the quality of the rigid concrete pavement.

The construction of these airstrips is divided into three different stages, which require 17 days to construct segments of 6,000m2. Following this plan of action, the construction of the three 5km airstrips would require six work fronts, two per strip, permitting the simultaneous construction of all airstrips in just 14 months. This proposal uses patented Mexican technology that has already been successfully used in Aeroméxico’s maintenance platform for close to 10 years. POSTENSA has arduously worked on this innovation for 12 years and is certain that it is the optimal solution for the subsoil. This post-tensioned system will not only lower costs and increase the quality of the airstrips, but it will also reduce the total construction times, allow for continuous operation of the airstrips and require minimum maintenance.