First in Europe in terms of goods exchange
Orio al Serio Airport is located near Bergamo, it is the fourth airport in Italy in terms of passengers movement and the first one in terms of goods exchange. Strategically located in the heart of Lombardy, less than 40 kilometres from the city of Milan, in just a few years it has reached unprecedented levels of operation for this type of location. The impressive growth of activity has naturally put all the infrastructure to the test, starting with the “wear and tear” and maintenance conditions of the single runway
for take-off and landing. The airport’s logistic development, which is still a work in progress and will see Orio al Serio having to adapt to even greater demanding challenges, had the airport runway renovation as the fulcrum of growth strategies and an increasingly better service to users, in terms of efficiency and safety.
The request and numbers of the challenge
“A unique operation. Challenging from every point of view: never before, in fact, has ever been possible to carry out such radical work on runways and aircraft movement areas on such major airports, reducing the period of inactivity to less than three weeks”. From the very words of the client, through Andrea Mentasti, Sacbo’s general manager, emerges the complexity of the work commissioned to team Vitali. Yet a task seemingly almost impossible was not only completed, but the work ended earlier than the official deadline, avoiding any “non-compliance”.
Sacbo has invested a total of 50 million Euro in this project, which include, besides working on the flight infrastructure, also the runway lighting control systems as well as hydraulic and IT upgrades.
 The main “numbers” characterising the upgrade of Orio al Serio airport’s infrastructure clearly shows the magnitude and complexity of the project:
  • Total paving area under construction: 550,000 m² (corresponding to 80 football fields).
  • Total amount of new asphalt to be laid: 220,000 tons (corresponding to 6,500 trucks 34.5 tons each).
  • Horizontal markings required: more than 70,000 m² (over 10 football fields).
  • Approximately 400 km of electrical wiring fitted.
  • Installation of more than 2,000 new air navigation aid lights with LED technology.
Compliance with the 3 phases strict timetable
Ahead of schedule Works on the flight infrastructure and other elements of the Orio al Serio airport project were performed in full compliance with a strict timetable requested by the client. The first two phases made it possible to operate from March 8th to May 12th, first on runway threshold 10 (west) and then on runway threshold 28 (east) without any interruption or limitation on flight activities. The third and final phase, from May 13th to June 1st, was used to finalise the complete re-making and re-paving of the runway, junctions and taxiways.

 On Monday, 2nd of June 2014, starting at 6.00 am, the runway at Orio al Serio International Airport was reopened to flight activity in compliance with the scheduled times. Even the infrastructure was practically finished a day early.
It takes numbers to overcome challenges.
2nd of June 2014, Orio al Serio airport reopens in record time. 900 employees
, 600 latest-generation machines, 
800 trucks per day, 
4 m of asphalt per minute, 
6 perfectly coordinated construction sites working simultaneously. To meet contract expectations and strict time line, Vitali and his partners have deployed an exceptional work force, both in terms of human resources and fleet of vehicles and machinery. 
All technologies have been properly coordinated in their use to optimise execution time, results and project costs. 
A carousel with vehicles of all types and sizes, in continuous H24 movement. The project plan involved 300 people on each shift. 600 last generation vehicles, all equipped with GPS systems, were used to meet project quotas.
 The milling and paving phase, which covered a total surface area of over 300,000 m², saw some of the most innovative machinery in the world market with exceptional performance.
Men and vehicles planning and organisation 900 employees worked in 3 shifts throughout the entire work process. 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Over 600 last generation vehicles, all equipped with GPS systems, were used to meet project quotas. GRADER and DOZER, also equipped with GPS, have been used for the sub-foundation phase.

 During the milling and paving phase, which covered a total area of more than 550,000 m², some of the most innovative machines on the world market were used, such as the BOMAG BF800 pavers, the WIRTGEN W210 milling machines and the WR 2000 stabilizers, with exceptional performance in addition to rollers, mechanical loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers, etc.
 Two mixed cement plants and screens to crush the materials resulting from the excavation were deployed on site.
Special customised asphalt
To ensure maximum reliability and durability of the new Orio al Serio airport runway tarmac, Vitali engineering team has studied and created a special bituminous conglomerate using HARD bitumen and fibres with outstanding technical and functional properties and complying with ENAC and ICAO technical and regulatory requirements. The package is 30 cm thick.
 The modified bitumen makes the asphalt more elastic and more resistant at the same time. As a proof to the accuracy of the working process the pavement has been laid with hot sealing joints on the entire airport runway.
New LED lighting on the entire runway. The new runway lighting system at Orio al Serio airport provides a 70% saving in energy consumption compared to traditional lighting systems. Besides the lighting, all navigation aid lighting systems have also been adapted. These systems are all new generation systems designed to allow all areas of the runway to be remotely controlled and check any faults or anomalies in real time. 400 km of wiring. Among the accessory work done it should not be forgotten the complete replacement of conduits and related wiring amounting to a total of 400 km.
 The aim of this operation is to upgrade the infrastructure of the local network and runway installations. This upgrade will result in maintenance costs savings and improved overall efficiency.