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Colas resurface main runway at Gatwick Airport

Colas resurfacing works at London Gatwick Airport
Colas resurfacing works at London Gatwick Airport

Collaborative team effort ensures successful completion of full runway rehabilitation works

COLAS Ltd have completed the rehabilitation of the main runway at London Gatwick Airport with minimal impact on daily operations.

Originally built in the 1950s using concrete, the main runway is 3.3km in length and 45m wide, and on busy days can handle more than 950 aircraft movements a day. Last resurfaced in 2012, this vital piece of infrastructure needed more than the local repairs it has had for the last few years to secure its viability for years to come.


Utilizing the fully collaborative approach that has proved highly effective on other runway rehabilitation projects, Colas and the team from Gatwick Airport spent time working together to find an effective approach that would deliver the works with minimal disruption to the airport’s operations.

The works, which were focused on the area of the runway that needed the most attention, began in spring, with the Colas team resurfacing the runway section by section overnight. Using a methodology developed through years of experience, the team delivered the works each night during a short operational window, ensuring the runway was returned to operational use by 5.30am.

With a dedicated team of contractors working as part of the Colas team, a truly collaborative approach was adopted each night. From daily on-site asphalt production and removal of the existing runway surface to deep crack repairs and defect removal works, the laying of the new surface, grooving, reconnection of the aeronautical ground lighting and the addition of the runway markings, the co-ordinated efforts of all involved ensured the successful completion of the full runway rehabilitation.

Colas chief executive Faical Lahmamsi said: ‘We are delighted to have completed this prestigious project for London Gatwick Airport, securing the operational effectiveness of the main runway for many more years to come. The highly experienced Colas airfields team have yet again demonstrated their expertise in this unique environment by delivering the works in a very short operational window each night through their highly collaborative approach.’


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