Austria’s Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport will close from September 20 to October 18, 2021, to allow for a EUR18.8 million (USD20.2 million) overhaul of its only runway, 08/26, with preparation work beginning in March and April 2021.

The airport's largest construction project to date will involve removing about 14cm of asphalt from the runway totalling around 40,000 tonnes and re-applying 12cm over an area measuring about 140,000m², roughly the size of 19 soccer fields, technical manager Alexander Strasshofer explained in a statement. Austria’s largest construction company, Strabag SE, had been commissioned to carry out the project. Electrical installations near the runway would also be modernised, and the runway lighting would be converted to energy-saving LED technology.

Renovation of the runway was urgently needed and future investment, commented airport manager, Marco Pernetta. The airport is 581,25m above mean sea level (MSL) with a 2,000m long and 45m wide runway. The runway substructure dates back to the 1950s/60s. Thin layers of asphalt were applied every 10 to 15 years, but these were now in poor condition, necessitating a thorough renovation, he said.

The project schedule would be as follows:

  • March and April 2021: Minor excavation of new shafts for new runway lighting will occur next to the runway at night, after airport operating hours.
  • From mid-August to mid-September 2021: The construction site will be set up on the airport's northside. Preparatory work will be carried out for the renovation, such as constructing a temporary access road.
  • September 20, 2021 – October 18, 2021: The airport will be closed. Construction work will be carried out from Monday to Sunday from 06:00Z + 1 to 22:00Z + 1 daily.
  • October 18, 2021: The airport reopens for commercial flights.
  • Mid-November: Dismantling of the construction site equipment.

Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) is likely to be most severely affected due to the closure. The carrier would have provided 72.63% of 100% seat capacity to Innsbruck during the period in question: 58.8% from Vienna and 13.75% from Frankfurt Int'l. easyJet (U2, London Luton) would have held 17.42% in seat capacity (12.12% from Berlin Brandenburg Int'l and 5.40% from London Gatwick). Transavia Airlines (HV, Amsterdam Schiphol) from Amsterdam Schiphol would have made up the remaining 5.97%, and TUI fly (Belgium) (TB, Brussels National) 3.98% from Antwerp, according to the ch-aviation schedules module.

Editorial Comment: Corrected construction work timings to be from 06:00 to 22:00 as opposed to 06:00 to 10:00. - 19.01.2021 - 06:37 UTC