Greenland is an exciting place with an equally exciting future. Due to its unique geographic location, it is bound to play a central role when the trade routes between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans open up, dramatically cutting both transport time and costs.
Another essential issue for further development is air travel and transport. With only 50,000 people in an area larger than Europe and mainly covered by ice, the essential way of travel and transport is by air.
Historically, the main aviation hub for international passenger transport is Kangerlussuaq Airport (SFJ).
Kasper Dyrby graduated as Arctic Engineer from the Technical University of Denmark. Since 2019 he is stationed as a project engineer in Illulisat, leading an expert team from Munck Civil Engineering:
“We are assigned by Kalaallit Airports A/S to construct an airport expansion with a runway of 2200 meterslength, with one taxiway and a terminal area with apron and areas prepared for construction of terminal and service. Regarding environmental issues we mainly deal with disturbances caused by dust and vibrations. Unlike in more densely populated areas, noise is not a major concern for us.”
In Ilulissat, the team is watering the internal construction roads regularly during the summer to prevent too much dust in the air and roads around the site. The construction site is placed just north of the existing airport, with low-flying aircraft aircrafts passing right above the construction site.
In conjunction with blasting operations, the Munck team uses three INFRA C22 vibration sensors from Sigicom. This is to ensure that the foundations at the existing airport facilities are not jeopardized during the construction period.
The project is estimated to be completed in 2023.
Human resources and logistics
“The main challenge in this kind of projects and remote locations is human resources and logistics”, says Kasper Dyrby.
Highly specialized competence is often difficult to find locally and recruiting people without meeting candidates face to face is not ideal. And even a simple and low-cost component that malfunctions can cost several weeks delay. So high-quality equipment as well as detailed and timely planning are absolutely essential.