Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is investing almost £5 million in runway resurfacing works at Islay Airport after “significant deterioration” in the last two years.
No disruption is expected to normal flight operations from established airlines, Loganair and Hebridean Airways with construction materials group Breedon starting work next month or early June to an agreed timetable around the airport schedule.
HIAL maintains the project is “essential for the long-term future” of the airport, which supports lifeline and essential services for the local community, while providing inbound connectivity for whisky and golf tourism.
Last resurfaced more than 21 years ago, the runways have suffered significant deterioration in the last two years.
Following a competitive tendering process, Breedon was appointed to undertake the works, which are expected to begin in late May or early June this year and last for 10 weeks.
After completion of the upgrade, HIAL adds the runways should only need subsequent resurfacing in 15 years’ time with “minimal maintenance required.”
Resurfacing work essential to prevent further deterioration
Islay Airport manager Niall Colthart, said: “We’re pleased to see the project progressing this year and look forward to the work starting.
“The resurfacing works will protect air connectivity to the island for years to come.
“The deterioration on the surface of the runway could result in a prolonged closure if left untreated, which would have a significant impact on connectivity for the island’s community.”
- Removal and replacement of 2 inches of the surface to provide a level surface and required durability
- Replacement of the top asphalt layer within both runways
- Rehabilitation of airfield ground lighting units
Mr Colthart added: “Engagement with the local community and our partners is underway and will continue throughout the project.
“HIAL has worked with the contractor to produce a works programme that has as little impact as possible for the Loganair and Hebridean Airways scheduled flights and the island community.”
News of the upgrade follows the ending of disruption at some HIAL airports caused by strikes after workers and bosses struck a pay deal.
Scottish Government-owned HIAL had been forced to close several airports in recent months due to rolling industrial action in an ongoing pay dispute.