A $5.3 million project to upgrade Dunedin International Airport's deteriorating runway is scheduled to begin early next month.
Work, which would begin on February 8, was brought forward due to the accelerated deterioration of the asphalt pavement, airport chief executive John McCall said.
''We need to refurbish that pavement on top, just like you do on a road from time to time.''
As a result of favourable exchange rates, locking in bitumen prices and not having to complete this year's scheduled maintenance due to the overlaying work, a saving of $1.38 million had been found,Environmental conditions and aircraft loadings meant Dunedin airport's runways required regular maintenance, just like other airports. The project was expected to be completed by March 23, and there were no plans ''at this time'' to extend the 1900m runway, Mr McCall said.
The airport will remain operational during the sealing project.