The Cayman Islands Airports Authority employed Waterblasting Technologies Inc. of the USA in early September to carry out rubber removal on the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport, using highly specialized equipment.
Over time, rubber marks from the tyres of aircraft gradually thicken on the touchdown zones of a runway reducing the surface friction in those areas. If left unchecked, this could eventually pose a hazard to aircraft on landing and takeoff.
Annual friction testing on the runway indicated a small section at the western end of the runway required rubber removal from the surface.
According to Carl McCoy, the CIAA’s Senior Manager of Engineering and Projects, ‘This is only the second time that this type of runway rubber removal process has been carried out in the Caribbean region by Waterblasting Technologies, Inc.’
Waterblasting Technologies shipped the equipment to Grand Cayman and sent a specialist operator to lead the project.
The equipment utilized a special tractor with high pressure water jets to blast the rubber off the runway.
‘The CIAA will again engage the services of its independent contractor to conduct friction testing in October 2008, thereby ensuring a continued high level of compliance with international standards that are also focused at maintaining the safety of the travelling public,’ Mr McCoy stated.