Rainy weather that has been reported in Lithuania in the past few weeks should not hinder the reconstruction of the runway of the Vilnius International Airport, says Olaf Martens, CEO of the airport.
Olaf Martens at the Vilnius Airport
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"If there is a severe downpour like we had over the past weeks, we would have to temporarily halt the reconstruction work but in general, if the rainfall is regular, we can continue working. What is very important is that we have planned for a rather big time buffer – five days," Martens told journalists on Friday.

In his words, asphalting should be completed on August 5, as planned, with opening of the airport scheduled for the night between August 17 and 18.

Martens said 170-180 employees of contractors were currently working at the airport along with 60 pieces of heavy equipment.

The runway is being renovated by a Latvian road construction company A.C.B. and a Kaunas construction company Autokausta for 18.7 million euros. The runway will be renovated all the way to the foundation, have its drainage and light systems replaced. After the renovation, the runway will require repeated certification to check its safety.

This is the first case in Europe when an international airport is fully closed down for repairs.

In 2012-2014, A.C.B. and partners completed a 79.4 million euro project to reconstruct the Riga airport – its runway was reconstructed at night, enabling the airport to continue its operations. Runway of Lithuania's second airport, Kaunas, was renovated at night in 2010.

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