Vancouver Airport South Airfield Runway End Safety Areas

Increasing safety for air transportation at Canada's second-busiest airport

Vancouver Airport Authority | Canada | 2011-2017

18,300 m3 of airfield concrete poured

800+ airfield LED lights

150+ workers on the runway each night


  • Runway end safety areas (RESAs) provide a surface at the end of the runway strip primarily intended to reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft in the event of an undershoot, overrun, or excursion of the runway.
  • RESAs involved complex phasing of earthworks, utilities, and airfield electrical infrastructure at each end of Runway 08R-26L and Runway 13-31 at Vancouver International Airport's (YVR) south airfield.
  • Closely interwoven components of electrical and civil elements had to be constructed within an active airfield operational environment, while maintaining daily use of active runways.


  • Hatch worked closely with the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVRAA) to develop numerous layouts and options, involving input from many stakeholders through the planning, preliminary design, and detailed design phases. An executive options report with graphics was provided to YVRAA for facilitating improved decision making.
  • The RESAs are each designed to be 300 metres long, which is double the anticipated minimum Transport Canada requirement—all to enhance the safety of the travelling public.
  • Due to the project's immense scope, implementation was split into three separate packages completed over three years from 2014 to 2017.
  • Value engineering and sustainable design practices minimized the import of granular materials and overall equipment hauling. Hatch’s extensive experience on airside civil work and electrical integration at YVR allowed all designs to be delivered on time and within budget.


  • Extensive use of FAARFIELD™ for the design of the proposed pavement structures including flexible, rigid, and RESA graded areas.
  • Successfully installed RESAs on the runways with no major disruptions to airport operations during busy summer travel operations—a critical detail for an important economic contributor like YVR that generates C$11.7 billion in economic output annually.
  • Innovative and constructible design packages deliveredon time and within budget.
  • 22 million-plus annual passengers protected from aircraft undershooting or overrunning the runways.     

Project Numbers

18,300 m3 of airfield concrete poured
800+ airfield LED lights
150+ workers on the runway each night before putting the runway back together for 6:00 a.m. flights
800+ concrete panels constructed
28,000+ metres of electrical cable installed in new duct banks

How we can help you

If you have a problem that needs to be solved, please get in touch.

Contact Us