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RAAF Base East Sale, Pilot Training Facility nearing completion

Civilex is proud of their involvement in the East Sale RAAF Base Pilot Training Facility project. This benchmark project in the Greater Gippsland region was both dynamic and challenging, and the Civilex Project Team’s management of multiple stakeholders was fundamental to the project’s success. All works were undertaken within a live airfield, in a fully operational RAAF base. The Project Team’s exceptional communication skills, careful planning and organisation ensured all safety requirements were exceeded, in addition to the client’s expectations. Civilex congratulates the East Sale RAAF Base PTF Project Team in achieving the highest quality of finishes.

Civilex were engaged under subcontract to Laing O’Rourke to deliver the $30M civil pavement and service package for the East Sale RAAF Base PTF. Major components of Civilex’s scope included 26,630 square metres of airfield concrete; construction of a $1.8M AFFF management system; 39,000 square metres of asphalt airfield pavement; installation of five treatment tanks; contaminated groundwater management; construction of landside pavements; and access roads and drainage works.

As part of their scope of works Civilex were required to completed several deep excavations – with some up to seven metres below ground level. To maximise safety the Project Team conducted planning sessions with all workers involved in the construction and management of the high-risk excavation work. From a collective conversation with labourers, excavator drivers and foreman, it was decided that an interlocking sheet pile wall methodology was the safest and most structurally thorough methodology for the works.

The ground water contained PFAS contaminates and as such the water table also required careful monitoring and management during excavation. To achieve this, spears were used and water was pumped into 21 holding tanks, tested and transported to an Oakleigh treatment facility. This methodology proved very successful and was repeated for the installation of each of the five treatment tanks.

Concrete works also formed a major component of the scope, including the construction of a huge concrete airfield to house 28 aircraft. Prior to pouring the concrete, completion of drainage, water, fire, AGL lighting and footings were required, followed by a cement-treated prep layer involving detailed thickenings within a 5mm tolerance. Sealing was undertaken, followed by concrete works.

In the early stages of the project two concrete placement crews were working adjacent to one another, with a truck arriving to service each crew every 15 minutes. Careful planning of truck movements was crucial to ensure the on-ground crew remained safe, and the previously poured concrete was protected. A testing station was on site along with a full-time testing crew to ensure all quality requirements were achieved.

The East Sale RAAF Base Pilot Training Facility Project is yet another Civilex project completed on time, under budget, and exceeding safety standards.