New Civil Engineer - Catherine Moore

New construction work at airports across the UK has picked up markedly in recent months as expansion and renovation programmes get underway, according to construction analyst Glenigan.

Regional airports have faced challenges in recent years competing for passengers with the major city air hubs - particularly around London and in Manchester – and expansion plans inevitably face local opposition.

However plans for significant extensions are progressing at Southampton and London City airports and a plan to reopen Manston Airport in Kent is set for take-off. Meanwhile, the all-clear was given for a major expansion at Bristol Airport last month.

The need to update passenger terminals at UK airports is also creating new contract opportunities, according to Glenigan. At Manchester Airport, work on a £440M terminal modernisation programme is due to start later this year which will double the size of the departure lounge and create more retail space. Mace is the construction manager on the project, where work is set to run for 36 months.

Meanwhile, airport maintenance and renovation work is providing a useful source of new work for civils contractors. Last month Lagan started work on a contract to resurface London Stansted's 3km runway in a project set to run over five months. Work takes place at night to limit the disruption to flights and, as well as laying over 50,000t of asphalt, the scheme involves upgrading the runway and taxiway lights with new LED lamps.

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