Kingsford Smith Airport: Safe Hangar Storage for Firefighting Foam

Located eight kilometres south of the Sydney CBD, Kingsford Smith Airport is home to Rex Airline’s airport hangar facility and headquarters.

With funding and support from the NSW state government, the facility acts as the airline’s national hub. Planning to extend their fleet of Boeing 737s to nine aircraft, the hangar is crucial to sustaining Rex’s local flight schedule and associated plane assets.

Atlan Stormwater joined the construction of this project with the design, fabrication and installation of high-flow storage and sump assets to store firefighting foam – an integral component of the on-site fire suppression system.

Maximising Hangar Space with Underground Storage

Paramount to the safety of the airport and its personnel, the iconic hangar project required 140,000 litres of high-flow storage capacity. Four TankStor units and a separate sump will meet these on-site requirements.

Installed below a traffic area used by service vehicles for nearby aircraft, and load rated to twenty tonnes, the underground placement of these assets maximises available hangar space and maintains trafficability.

These purpose-designed TankStor units were engineered using a combination of FRP (fibre-reinforced polymer) and resins compatible with storing commercial airport-grade firefighting foams. Their design will prevent cracks and leaks in the tank shell and keep foam stored in the correct conditions.

Adjustments to buoyancy calculations helped meet foam storage design specs and on-site conditions, which included the potential for 200 millimetres of groundwater.

Compared to cast-in-situ alternatives, the TankStor units were ready to install on delivery, which supplied cost-benefits by reducing time for on-site fabrication and minimising open excavations. This approach also eliminated the risk of groundwater negatively impacting the installation phase by expediting this phase of the project.

Key benefits of these assets are the TankStor’s 100-year design life, ease of installation, and single-piece prefabrication. Providing carbon reductions and installation efficiencies over traditional reinforced concrete alternatives, the FRP design and engineering of these assets helps to secure the site’s sustainable outcomes.

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