LONDON – Over the weekend, London Stansted began work on the resurfacing of its only runway.
The STN Resurfacing Project…
Beginning yesterday, its five-month resurfacing project, which is to be undertaken by Lagan Specialist Contracting Group, got underway.
Resurfacing London Stansted’s runway is an enormous task as the runway itself is 3km in length and will still have to cater for the airport to continue daily operations.
Phase One of the resurfacing project will last for 11 weeks, whereby the runway will be closed from 12:00 am till 06:00 am every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night.
The runway will remain fully open on both Thursdays and Fridays for normal operations to continue.
Once Phase One has been completed, Phase Two will commence, whereby the runway will remain open.
However, the runway will be operated at a reduced length to enable flights to continue safely operating.
It is expected that the vast majority of the runway resurfacing will be completed within the first 11 weeks, with the remainder being the smaller last parts during Phase Two.
This is mainly due to the fact that MAG will need to ensure that the resurfacing does not heavily affect flight on-time performances, which would result in unwanted delays for any traveling passengers.
Over the five-month resurfacing project, it is expected that the runway will need approximately 50,000 tonnes of asphalt and all of the runways’ 1,300 lights to be replaced with new energy-efficient LEDs.
All of which will be spread across an area the same size as 25 football fields.
Stansted caters to a lot of airlines, such as Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2, and others.
London Stansted Airport’s Planning and Development Director, Neil Thompson, said the following:
“Handling up to 50 aircraft movements an hour, the runway is obviously a key asset for the airport, so it’s critical it is maintained to the highest standard at a busy international gateway such as London Stansted.
“A project of this scale is very complex and clearly presents us with a number of operational challenges as during just six working hours each night, we will need to remove and replace around 100 meters of runway surface before safely re-opening it before the first flight is scheduled to take-off in the morning.
“At the same time, we are upgrading the runway and taxiway lights with energy-efficient, high-performance LED lamps that are crucial in the safe operation of aircraft, especially in low visibility conditions.
“The whole project has been meticulously planned, and we aim to complete the work as quickly and safely as possible to limit the disruption on the operation of the airport and minimize any impacts for our local community.”
Lagan certainly has a difficult task ahead of them to resurface Stansted’s sole runway, catering to up to 50 aircraft per hour or over 1,000 movements per day. The runway has a lot of aircraft to handle safely.
Runway resurfacing projects are an important part of maintaining the operational safety standards of an airport due to the high level of departures and arrivals it experiences.
It will be interesting to see whether any delays will impact the airport caused by this project or whether the timeline of this project will be on time.