Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée (SMFG) is pleased to announce the completion of the repair work to the access road and landing strips of the N’Zérékoré airport, which it initiated and funded as part of its 2022 community support programme.

The airport at N’Zérékoré is a key infrastructure for the transport of goods and people between the Forest Region and the rest of the country, and in particular with Conakry. The airport is used by several NGOs and industrial companies operating in the forest area, not only for transporting personnel but also for the transport of emergency materials and equipment crucial to their operations.

SMFG has used the airport since 2008 and has contributed regularly to the airport’s upkeep. Contributions include donations of weather equipment, occasional runway maintenance, weed control and the employment of supervisors for SMFG flight days. With the agreement of the airport management authorities, SMFG technicians have conducted inspections focusing on the safety of the landing strip and related infrastructure. The inspections recently revealed high levels of erosion on the landing strip, with a continuous presence of stagnant surface water, invading weeds, and degraded threshold markings. Inspections also revealed high levels of erosion along the access road to the airport.

In 2021, with the authorisation of the Agence de la Navigation Aérienne ANA (civil aviation authorities), SMFG launched a call for competitive tenders to contract the repair works to a Guinean company. The works conducted along the 1.4-kilometer-long and seven-meter-side access road, and the 1.7-kilometer-long and 45-metre-wide landing strip included:

– Recalibrating and restoring the road along its entire length using a grader, without adding additional material.

– Overall levelling with the use of the grader, occasionally adding gravel to the worst affected areas, including preparatory work and the creation of ditches and trenches.

– Compacting the selected filler materials until a dry density equal to or greater than 90% of the OMP (Optimum Modified Proctor) was obtained.

– Overlaying the entire surface of the road and landing strip with gravelly materials.

– The construction of a safety strip on both sides of the runway.

– The restoration of the threshold markings on runways 18 and 36.

With the work now complete, the landing strip has additional 15-metre-wide safety strips running for 200 metres on either side. The access road has been widened, with the curvatures of the bends reduced to improve visibility.

In the presence of technicians from the contracting company, SMFG and the ANA, the works were provisionally accepted in June 2022. During this provisional acceptance, further corrective measures were identified by the technical team, which the contracting company was required to complete once the rainy season had ended. These were completed by the end of the third week of November 2022 and a final handover is expected in the coming weeks.

SMFG would like to thank the Guinean civil aviation authorities, the administrative authorities of N’Zérékoré and local residents, as well as the contracting company for the good collaboration that led to the successful completion of the works.

                                                           Landing strip and aircraft parking area

                                                                 Reprofiled access road

                                                            Reconditioned runway threshold marks