Birmingham Airport is one of the UK’s busiest international airports, facilitating around 100,000 domestic and long haul flights each year for more than 9 million passengers – impressive numbers considering the airport only has one runway.
Towards the end of 2012, the airport announced plans to extend its runway to accommodate the take-off and landing requirements of larger aircraft. These improvements would allow airlines to offer more direct, long haul flights to destinations such as China, the Midwest of North America and South Asian countries.
Unfortunately there was much more to consider than the runway itself. Running along the bottom of the existing runway was the A45, a major highway and key transport corridor for the Midlands. In order to create a longer runway, this road would need to be diverted in a horse shoe shape around the newly formed extension.
This was set to be a £44 million project of two halves, with the runway and A45 extension both requiring high quality, durable aggregate materials that were fit for purpose.
Keeping disruption to a minimum for both road and air passengers was also a key consideration throughout the logistical planning of the project. Just-in-time deliveries would play a major role in keeping the Midlands moving as well as ensuring that the airlines using Birmingham Airport were not subject to any unnecessary and potentially costly flight delays.
Contractors Volker Fitzpatrick, one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction companies with specific expertise in the aviation sector, worked alongside Colas, a specialist design and build company for the UK’s transport infrastructure, to deliver this project.
Large puddles are an important health and safety concern on runways so drainage was a key consideration for the new runway. In order to deliver a surface of the highest quality, Aggregate Industries were asked to provide around 75,000 tonnes of specialist market leading drainage materials for the job.
With such large quantities of material to deliver in a short time to a site with numerous health and safety restrictions in place, the Aggregate Industries haulage team employed a number of walking floor, non-tipping artic transporters specifically for the task. This was the first time the team had attempted a delivery of this nature and thanks to the larger capacity of the new trucks, the load was delivered quickly with far less lorries – a real benefit on a busy airside construction site. The flat-tipping trucks were able to offload materials carefully and accurately within the parameters required by airport control.
Aggregate Industries proved itself as a capable partner on site and having been pipped to the post for the supply of Type 1 Subbase, the team were later called upon as ‘supplier of choice’ when the chosen company were unable to fulfil the requirements of their job. A total of 25,000 tonnes of Type 1 Subbase was supplied at short notice for the relevelling of the runway and A45. A real testament to Aggregate Industries ability to respond to customer requirements at short notice.
Civil and Aviation
Birmingham International Airport / Birmingham City Council
Volker Fitzpatrick and Colas
- A total of 25,000 tonnes of Type 1 Subbase were supplied.
- Aggregate Industries provided around 75,000 tonnes of specialist market leading drainage materials for the job.
We had numerous deliveries to our site at Birmingham Airport from Aggregate Industries, using the walking floor artics, were integral in delivering materials to the point of use in areas where we have restrictions due to flight paths & airside regulations