Aberdeen’s Runway Extension Gets the Official Green Light

Stuart Smith 2010, News

After years of detailed planning, the £10 million extension of Aberdeen Airport’s main runway has been given the green light.

Following City Council approval and extensive local consultation, the Executive board of BAA have within the last few days confirmed the delivery plan to press on with the vital piece of local infrastructure.

Work on the 124 metre extension to the north end of the runway will start in March 2011 and it is set to be complete in summer 2012.

The process involves work on the foundations and extension itself, work to redirect taxiways, and importantly the relocation of navigational equipment.

Much of the work will be carried out overnight, in order to ensure the airport operation can continue as normal, and every effort is being made to work along side the local residents to minimise disruption. The contractors being brought in to carry out the project are the same team who were involved with the runway resurfacing work in 2009, which ran on time on budget and with minimal disruption.

All of this while ensuring the airport can continue to provide vital out-of-hours emergency services, thus create little or no negative impact to the business.

Headlines:

* Total cost – £10million

* Total extension length – 124 metres

* Estimated project delivery dates – start March 2011/end summer 2012

The Airport’s Managing Director Derek Provan said “I am delighted to be in a position to confirm this great news, after years of planning and hard work by the team here.

“It is impossible to understate the impact that this could have on the whole of the North-east. It opens up new destinations at the same time as allowing our existing carriers to work more efficiently. At a time when aviation has struggled under the weight of a difficult year, this is an incredibly welcome announcement that will provide many with a much needed boost. The project demonstrates a commitment to the whole region by BAA, investing exclusively private funds into such an important project.

“Our thanks go out to the local community, business organisations and political leaders who have been integral in helping us reach this stage. Their support is hugely appreciated and we simply couldn’t have done it without them. Their backing shows how vital this project is to the continued prosperity of the airport and its expansion, and as a result reflects the importance of the project to the whole of the North-east.

“The utmost thanks should however go to former MD Kevin Brown, who worked extremely hard on this in recent years, I know the project was very close to his heart. It was through his passion, support and leadership that this project was able to move from conception to today’s announcement.

Bob Collier is the Chief Executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. He said “”This long-awaited announcement is fantastic news for the North-east of Scotland. An extension to the runway is one of the key elements of an improved transport infrastructure which is so essential to the continuing economic growth and development of our region and securing this commitment to the extension has been one of the priorities of the Chamber’s Transport Campaign.

“The implications and benefits go far beyond the laying down of a few extra metres of tarmac. Our global energy industry has long said increasing the runway capacity and improving our connectivity to the rest of the world is vital if we want to continue to anchor the sector in Scotland, because it opens up opportunities to introduce new routes which are necessary for future development. It will also significantly improve opportunities for growing the tourism industry in this area by making us more accessible to potential visitors from around the world.

“The Airport’s commitment to continuing significant financial investment in the North-east also sends out a strong message to other private sector investors that this region continues to provide huge potential in terms of business opportunity.”

Derick Murray, Director, Nestrans said: “It’s fantastic news for Aberdeen City & Shire as this development can only help to improve the transport infrastructure in the North-east.

“Development of Aberdeen Airport will contribute to further attract more new businesses to the area which in this economic climate has to be viewed as a good thing.”