Unless you’re in the aviation industry, “runway rejuvenation” might sound like a term to describe a day at the spa for a high-fashion runway model before the next big show. And actually, that’s not too far off.
For an airport, undergoing a runway rejuvenation is the equivalent of a treatment at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa – emphasis on spa – complete with cleansing and exfoliation, body masque, and deep tissue massage.
Essentially, it’s a way to treat and preserve the runway.
First is the rubber removal process, meaning that all the rubber left on the runway—when the wheels of your plane touch down—has to come up. Scraping it off is a lengthy process, but like exfoliating your skin, you have to get rid of the gunk before you treat what’s underneath.
Next is “rout and grout,” which involves cleaning out cracks in the asphalt, and then filling and sealing them with a hot tar substance, which could be likened to a body masque.
After that comes the deep tissue massage, in which a sealant is applied that seeps into the depth of the asphalt and replenishes the needed oils and elasticity, protecting the entire runway.
Finally the markings are painted afresh, like having make-up professionally applied.
The process is something akin to Extreme Makeover: Runway Edition. And the best part of a show like that? The reveal, of course! Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present our newly rejuvenated runway: