Vagar Airport - extension of the runway


Ernst Kolding

Ernst Kolding

Project Director
T: +45 5161 6744

The Faroe Islands have only one airport, and it is their main connection with the rest of the world. Ramboll has helped to extend the runway, and to ensure reliable transport links in this area. 

The Faroe Islands have only one airport, and it is their main connection with the rest of the world. The runway is relatively short and the topographic conditions present daily challenges. The runway can only be used by certain types of plane, and there are often capacity-restrictions on them. In 2009 Ramboll, having competed with many other consultant companies, was awarded the contract to lengthen the runways from 1250m to 1799m.

Taking up the challenge

The topographic conditions make it not only a challenge to operate the airport, but also difficult and costly to extend the runway. The construction process includes the blasting 1.6 million m3 of rock in order to establish broader security zones along the runway. That material is then used at each end of the runway, in order to extend it.

In the winter there are often periods of alternate freezing and thawing in the area. That causes problems when the melting snow flows over the runway and freezes to form ice. Ramboll’s project therefore also includes an entirely new drainage system for the runway.

New environmental restrictions have been put into place, to prevent thawing agents and other waste materials from entering a nearby lake. This is vital, as in dry periods the lake is used as a source of drinking water.

It is a costly process to pump the run-off liquid away from the lake and to an authorized drainage agent. Ramboll has therefore developed a sam-pling method, so that the amount to be collected and pumped away is significantly reduced.

At both ends of the extended runway, approach lights are erected on poles. To improve conditions in poor visibility, the line of approach will be extended with ‘Sequenced Flashing Lights’. The furthest flashing approach lights will now be attached to anchored buoys in the lake.

This is just one example of how Ramboll has worked effectively in challenging conditions - considerate expertise in the design and supervision of construction projects has been developed through working in Greenland, the Faroe Islands and in Northern Norway.

Ramboll Group A/S

Ramboll Group A/S
Hannemanns Allé 53
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Tel:+45 5161 1000
Fax:+45 5161 1001


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