Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport

Zhōushān Pǔtuóshān Jīchǎng
Airport typePublic
ServesZhoushan, Zhejiang
LocationZhujiajian Island
Putuo District

Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport (Chinese: 舟山普陀山机场) (IATA: HSN, ICAO: ZSZS) is an airport situated on Zhujiajian Island in Zhoushan , Zhejiang , People's Republic of China. Construction originally started following an agreement signed January 19, 1994, in Zhoushan , between Zhoushan Civil Aviation Airport Construction and Zhejiang Province and Pacific Development Company acting on behalf of The IEA Group in the United States who, under CEO Michael R. Dodds, performed many of the design and engineering services during construction.

An interesting fact relating to the design of the runway is that the existing site, which was a large area of rice paddy fields, was less than a half-meter above sea level, situated behind a protective dam which kept seawater out during severe weather. For the site to be turned into a viable runway the low-lying paddy fields required filling with rock, stone and sand obtained from a nearby range of hills.

The runway was originally designed to be long enough to land 747s, which require around 10,000' (3,300m) length for take-off by 130'(40m) width. The CAA design specifications were somewhat unspecific, compared to European or US FAA requirements, especially regarding compaction requirements; so the American design team worked where possible to FAA Guidelines. Compaction goals became an issue because there was no equipment available to do the field testing that would have been required under the FAA Rules.

Considering the land had to be built up 9 meters, even with the trapezium shaped cross section, approximately 5,500,000 cubic meters of fill had to be quarried, transported and placed by local labor. This was an enormous labour intensive undertaking because in 1994 the Chinese had very little heavy construction equipment available.

The Chinese engineers had a rather unique way of placing the fill which was regularly monitored by U.S. engineers from the IEA Group. Perforated cast iron drainage pipes were laid from east to west across the site before layers of small rocks and gravel were laid over them to a depth of about 300mm then a carefully chosen mixture of different sized larger rocks, gravel and sand were laid over the top in 30 layers each of about 300mm and each being carefully compacted with a bulldozer.

Across the entire site which was about 3,200m x 400m, a matrix of 150mm perforated iron pipes at 10m centers in both directions was installed vertically, in a manner that allowed the Chinese to pour water and sand down the pipes to help with the compacting. The principal was that the sand would fill the gaps between the stones and gravel and thereby allow for greater compaction strength than would be obtained with the bulldozer alone. No compaction testing was done as no equipment was available locally but the Chinese Engineers claimed this was standard construction for their highways.

At the end of the day the runway length was held to 8,200 (2,500 m) which is too short for fully laden 747's to take off safely although it could be extended at sometime in the future if this was ever required.

Ranks in China Biggest 100 Airports

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