Planning for runway replacement works at Auckland Airport is well underway, with the safety plans allowing work to be carried out during all levels of Covid-19 restrictions.
The work will be carried out on the touchdown zone at the eastern end of the runway, André Lovatt, airport development and delivery general manager, said in a statement.
While design and procurement work had been underway for some time, the outbreak of Covid-19 had provided an opportunity to reconsider timing for the pavement construction works, he said.
The safe operational plan for its construction is now nearing completion.
"Some of our projects have been suspended due to the current market uncertainty, but Auckland Airport has remained committed to completing a number of key infrastructure projects focussed on essential safety and asset maintenance, including the planned runway pavement replacement," Mr Lovatt said.
"With fewer planes now flying, particularly large long-haul aircraft, we are working to carry out construction works at the earliest available time."
However, the airport's first priority for the project will continue to focus on safety, with multiple organisations coming together to work on the safety case in recent weeks.
The timeline for the runway works to get underway will be confirmed after the safety case has been reviewed and endorsed by industry stakeholders, he said.
Engineers, meanwhile, have continued with the pavement design and ordering of long-lead items, some of which are coming from international suppliers. Local design solutions are being used where possible, however.
The runway option currently being considered by stakeholders is to use the existing runway, which will be shortened by 1.1km over eight to 10 weeks during the construction period.
The approach, a displaced threshold, allows for work to be carried out safely while aircraft continue to operate.