Mabey Mats Protect Illawarra Airport

Project Type

Transport

Location

Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Services Provided

Temporary Access and Roadways

Challenge

Wollongong’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society secured the extraordinary opportunity to take custodianship of Qantas’ first Boeing 747-400 in its retirement at Albion Park. However, there was a major obstacle to making the opportunity a reality. A laden 747 requires over 3,000m to land safely and Albion Park’s longest runway was 1,819m. VH-OJA would only have a flight crew aboard and a little over 10 per cent of its fuel carrying capacity, however, additional capacity on the runway would still be required to protect Albion Park’s apron and taxiways from the weight.

Solution

Mabey’s TuffTrak temporary road mat provided the ideal solution. The TuffTrak mat is a specialised temporary road mat designed to protect any ground surface on which it is laid. Made of solid HDPE, measuring 3m x 2.5m and 40mm thick, and weighing 295kg, the mats can withstand point loadings of up to 150 tonnes.

Result

When VH-OJA made its final short run from Sydney International Airport to Albion Park on Sunday 8 March 2015 the TuffTrak Road Mats provided the desired ground protection during the landing and taxi.

Mike De La Hunty of Wollongong’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society said, “Mabey’s TuffTrak mats were ideal for this sort of challenge and the runway and taxiway surface and substructure were not affected in any way. There was also plenty of interest in the mats from other organisations while they went through pre-event trials. I’d like to thank Mabey for supplying this solution and supporting our cause.”