VÖGELE Laser Receiver for Pinpoint Landing in Terms of Evenness

Two SUPER 1800-2 pavers construct new runway in Quito, Ecuador.

Construction of the New Quito International Airport is currently the largest building project in Ecuador. The airport operator has invested USD 600 million in the modern infrastructure, and the requirements on evenness of the runway and taxiways were every bit as high as the sum involved. The strict requirements were fulfilled with the utmost precision by two SUPER 1800-2 pavers combined with AB 500-2 Extending Screeds, not least thanks to the aid of the VÖGELE Laser Receivers used for grade and slope control.

Quito is one of South America’s most dynamic cities. The population is growing continuously, scores of new developments are shooting up and the density of traffic is on the rise. Quito Airport was no longer able to keep pace with these developments. Its location in the centre of the city and its sloping runway presented a substantial safety risk, as well as obstructing absolutely all plans for expansion. The topology presented problems, too: the airport is situated 2,800m above sea level, making it one of the highest in the world. So the decision was made to build a new airport, “Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de Quito.”

Construction of “Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de Quito” kicked off

The site for the new airport is 25km to the east of the capital at an altitude roughly 400m below that of the old airport. Construction commenced in the year 2006 after more than 30 years of planning. After completion, the airport will be able to handle 5,000,000 passengers a year. The runway will also be longer than that of the existing airport, at 4,100m, making it the longest in Ecuador. The cost-efficiency of aircraft also stands to benefit: the longer runway will reduce the consumption of aviation fuel at take-off, as less thrust will be required. What’s more, the efficiency of long-distance flights, in particular, will be increased as these have only been able to land at the old Quito airport with just 60% of their maximum take-off weight.

Making the grade with grade and slope control

One of the two SUPER 1800-2 placing water-bound base.

All told, the airport operator has invested USD 600 million in the project. No wonder, then, that nothing was to be left to chance in the construction of the runway. The requirements on absolutely even paving true to line and level were extremely high. This was also the reason why the company, awarded the runway construction contract, opted for machines and grade and slope control technology from VÖGELE. Two SUPER 1800-2 with AB 500-2 TV Extending Screeds were selected for the job. Both pavers were also equipped with two Laser Receivers and two Big MultiPlex Skis.

All requirements fulfilled thanks to VÖGELE Laser Receivers

A rotary laser was in permanent contact with the VÖGELE Laser Receivers on the SUPER pavers to guarantee an even pavement, true to line and level.

The VÖGELE Laser Receivers installed on the pavers were used to pick up an artificial reference. The reference was generated by a rotary laser that is in permanent contact with the receivers. They detected every deviation of the machines from the specified grade and emitted signals for correction to NIVELTRONIC Plus®. The non-contacting VÖGELE System for Automated Grade and Slope Control also stood out on the Quito job site thanks to its ease of handling. When connected to NIVELTRONIC Plus®, the Laser Receiver is automatically recognized as a grade sensor and is immediately ready for operation. Thanks to the Laser Receiver’s large pick-up range, there is no need to adjust the height of the mast to which it is attached while paving. This makes the system ideally suited for paving large areas. Indeed, when constructing the runway, it was possible to achieve extremely accurate paving results as early as during the placing of water-bound base (for more information on the VÖGELE Laser Receiver, please refer to the article “The Right Sensor Technology for Every Task, Part 3”, from page 34). The Big MultiPlex Skis were only needed for grade and slope control at a few points where the job site conditions precluded the use of a Laser Receiver.

Two SUPER 1800-2 placed water-bound base

The works on the Quito job site began with the placing of water-bound base, 25cm thick. To this end, the two SUPER 1800-2 pavers were combined with AB 500-2 Extending Screeds equipped with tamper and vibrators. They worked in 8.5m width. A number of features proved that the machines were well up to the task despite the thin air at that altitude and the relatively rigid material. The most important among them was the well thought out machine concept of VÖGELE's “all-rounder.” This starts with the powerful PERKINS engine delivering 129.6kW at just 2,000rpm. The modern, quiet-running engine comes with an electronic management system for a constant operating speed. Furthermore, efficient cooling is also crucial to the success of major projects as the construction of the runway at Quito International Airport. For efficient cooling, the SUPER 1800-2 comes with a large cooler assembly. Thanks to innovative air routing, the system ensures optimal cooling of the engine coolant, hydraulic oil and charge air – even with the paver operating at full load and at high ambient temperatures up to 50 °C.

Paving team much impressed with the machines’ high performance

The paving team was fully satisfied with the VÖGELE technology: “Despite the heavy workload, everything went smoothly. The SUPER pavers work like clockwork.” After this thoroughly positive experience, the asphalt surfacing will be paved with the same machines.

SUPER 1800-2: Facts and Figures

  • Maximum pave width 10m
  • Laydown rate up to 700 tonnes/h
  • Maximum layer thickness 30cm
  • Transport width 2.55m
  • Pave speed up to 24m/min.
  • Travel speed up to 4.5km/h
  • PERKINS engine rated at 129.6kW
  • ErgoPlus® operating concept
  • Hardtop

Job Site Details

Quito International Airport


Construction of runway and taxiways
at New Quito International Airport, Ecuador

Length of section: 4,100m
Width of section: 45m
Total area: 184,500m²
Pave width: 8.5m
Layer Thickness: 25cm

Base Course: water-bound base course mix

2 SUPER 1800-2
with AB 500-2 TV Extending Screeds