London City has become the first airport in Europe to install artificial turf in the jet blast area of a runway and taxiway.
Denmark-based Evergreen Aviation installed its Aviation Grade Artificial Turf (AGAT) on 400 m 2 area around the runway and Taxiway M at London City. The firm claims that AGAT reduces maintenance costs, and is a long-term and eco-friendly solution to the common problems of bird strikes, soil erosion, and jet blast.
London City officials report no issues since the installation of the artificial turf. The short length of the turf and the absence of flora means that birds and animals are not attracted to the area to hunt for food or seek shelter. The AGAT ground cover is also ready for immediate use after installation with no need for curing or growing time.
“Most types of artificial turf are designed for either ball bounce/roll or aesthetics,” said Evergreen Aviation technical director and founder Nikolaj Duckert. “AGAT is designed to be heat-, UV- [ultraviolet-], and chemical-resistant, and at the same time durable in all weather types; able to support aircraft, service and emergency vehicles; and still have clear markings and optimal clear visual reference. It’s designed to be tough year in, year out, never compromising safety in the airport.”
Duckert added that AGAT turf has a service life of 30 years, but the price per square metre depends on factors such as the sub-base type, size, edges, markings, installation conditions, availability of tolls, equipment, and level of manpower. “In general, the more factors you consider in your cost benefit, the better the case is to install AGAT,” he told Jane’s .
“AGAT consist of Aviation Grade Artificial Turf and silica sand infill. The turf is fully reusable and the silica sand is brushed into the fibres and can be removed uncontaminated after use.
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