Operation "Hot Cargo"

20 June 2022
In Kleine Brogel, one of the army bases in Limburg, APK Wegenbouw, Drion Glijbouw and APK Recycling joined forces to lay out a large car park for fighter planes.
Screening, planning and precision

The project at the army base required a tight schedule and precise working methods. In addition, there were also checks involved in the project, specific to the secure location of the works, says site manager Koen Brebels.. "Every employee was screened for this project. Not only in advance, but also every day at the check-in point we were checked. So you see that they are strict and don't just let anyone in on the site." 

The car park that APK Wegenbouw had the honour of constructing was an impressive one. No less than 30,000 m² of concrete surface for a C17 aircraft. This large bird measures 58 metres from nose to tail. long. Fully loaded, it can carry 263 tonnes.. "Such a plane easily costs 320 million euros. So you can't be surprised that this car park has to be kept free of water and in perfect order." 

To achieve thisDuring the first phase, new sewers were laid under the entire square. During the first phase, new sewers were laid under the entire square. In addition, aquadrains were installed to collect the water. The square was constructed with a downward slope of 1 metre so that it remains dry during heavy rainfall. 

An environmentally conscious process for APK Road Construction

F16s and C17s sometimes spill oil. To prevent this from mixing with the collected water, an oil separator was also installed. The toxic materials were recycled by APK Recycling and the contaminated soil was taken to Bioterra for purification. Finally, a new telephone line was installed and connected, as well as new fire pipes.  

"Once everything was in the ground, a whole section of the field was excavated. Then 25 cm of concrete was put on top, a 10 cm intermediate layer of crushed stone and another 25 cm underlayer of crushed stone. The subsoil and the intermediate layers were tested by means of plate tests, in order to guarantee their solidity."says Koen Brebels. The pouring of the concrete itself, carried out by Drion Glijbouw, took two à It took three months. A nice order of around one million euros for APK Group. 

Project Manager APK Road Construction Koen Brebels

Between the F16's and C17's

It's not every day you get the chance to work at an army base where F16s take off. In his ten years in road construction and three years with APK Group, this was a truly unique experience, says Koen.. "The setting is really chic to work in. The runway is right next to it. The first few times I was really impressed by that, but loud it is!", Koen says, laughing.  

The F16s and the C17s are also real hoovers, according to Koen.. "During the project, the taxiways and the working environment had to be truly free of stones and dirt. A 1 cm pebble is enough to destroy the aircraft's engine. So working cleanly was the message."

F-16 over air base Kleine-Brogel - APK Road construction