News Archive

RPS Supports London City Airport Plans for Growth

30 October 2013

RPS Supports London City Airport Plans for Growth

RPS’ work for London City Airport has just been recognised with RPS receiving the Best Environmental Initiative Award 2013 from the Airport Operators’ Association (AOA).

Image courtesy of Pascall + Watson

London City Airport (LCY) has submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Newham for permission to expand its current infrastructure to accommodate up to 120,000 flight movements (take offs and landings) per year and to allow the airport to double its passenger numbers (to six million) over the next ten years. The £200m project, known as the City Airport Development Programme (CADP) includes the construction of a 7.5 hectare concrete deck over King George V (KGV) Dock to provide new Code C aircraft stands (to accommodate larger jets), a parallel taxilane to optimise runway capacity in peak operating hours, and a major terminal extension with an associated passenger pier, new forecourt, parking, hotel and other landside facilities.

Building on its long standing involvement with LCY*, RPS coordinated the environmental impact assessment (EIA), sustainability appraisal and health impact assessment (HIA) in support of the CADP planning application and managed the multi-discipline environmental team for this project. RPS technical teams also completed the assessment of various key topics including archaeology & built heritage, ecology, flood risk, waste, contamination, lighting impact, and townscape and visual effects.

The CADP offers a crucial opportunity to enhance the sustainability of the Airport by accommodating larger, more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft (such as the Bombardier C-100, due to be introduced in 2015) and to reduce energy, water, waste and carbon emissions from its own ground operations. The Airport falls within one of the Mayor of London’s new “Green Enterprise Zones” and, from the outset, the principles of sustainable development formed a central tenet to the design of the CADP, for which RPS played a significant role.

RPS worked with the project engineers, Atkins, to help realise the inclusion of a closed-loop dock source heat exchange (DSHE) system as part of the energy strategy to supply a proportion of clean, renewable energy to the Airport. The system takes advantage of the unusual location of the Airport above a large deep water body by using the dock water as a heat sink. In addition, RPS provided the outline design of artificial ‘Fish Refugia’ in the dock water in order to provide food and shelter for fish, as well as a growing media for algae and macro-invertebrates. This habitat will compensate for the loss of the existing dock wall which will be built over to create a parallel taxilane and aircraft stands.

Image courtesy of Pascall + Watson

Other initiatives that were incorporated in the CADP proposals in order to improve the long-term sustainability of the Airport include:

Use of gas-fired Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) systems to suit the Airport’s base load profiles, and photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the Terminal buildings;

Provision of low flow sanitary fittings, including vacuum flushing toilet systems for the new Eastern Pier WCs, to reduce potable water use by the Airport buildings;

A Surface Water Drainage Strategy which includes a range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) to potentially reduce the existing flow to greenfield runoff rates;

An enhanced two-tier sound insulation scheme for nearby affected properties, which has the lowest eligibility criterion trigger level adopted by any airport in the UK. LCY will also improve the scheme by offering those people most affected by noise improved secondary glazing or a 100% monetary contribution towards high acoustic performance thermal double glazing, together with acoustic ventilation;

Operation of a comprehensive Air Quality Measurement Programme and implementation of the LCY Air Quality Action Plan, with a range of measures to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from Airport-related sources, including: installation of fixed electrical ground power (FEGP) to all refurbished and new stands to substantially reduce reliance on MGPUs; and provision of ultra-low NOx boilers and CCHP systems that include 95% catalytic reduction of emissions.

The adoption of a project specific Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), drafted by RPS, which will set out the management, monitoring, auditing and training procedures to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and best practice environmental standards.

Editors notes

London City Airport

London City Airport (LCY) is the only London airport situated in London itself, just three miles from Canary Wharf, seven miles from the City and 10 miles from London’s West End and linked to all via the Docklands Light Railway. Catering for over 3 million passengers and 70,000 movements annually, in 2012 LCY celebrated its millionth flight, 36 millionth passenger and 25 years of operation. LCY offers a unique rapid transit proposition – a short check in, door to lounge, and a shorter arrival, tarmac to train. 11 airlines fly out of LCY, serving 48 destinations, eight of which were new for 2012, with six further announced in 2013. In 2009, the airport was granted permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum, which it intends to do by 2023, via the City Airport Development Programme (CADP). Further information about the airport and its services can be found at

Previous involvement of RPS*

London City Airport’s proposed development programme seeks to maximise the use of its existing infrastructure to achieve its permitted number of flight movements (permission for 120,000 movements granted in 2009) without the need for a new runway or an extension to the existing runway. This is in line with the Aviation Policy Framework presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Transport in March 2013.

Achieve already permitted growth in movements – to 120,000 per annum by 2023

Enlarge existing aeroplane parking stands and create further stand capacity to the east of the current airport buildings

A new parallel taxi lane to make more efficient use of existing runway (25% increase, to 45 scheduled movements per hour)

Extend the existing terminal building to the West

Create 1,500 new jobs (plus up to 500 in the construction phase of the project)

No new runway

No extension to the existing runway

RPS Proposes to Acquire Norwegian Consultancy OEC

22 October 2013

RPS Proposes to Acquire Norwegian Consultancy OEC

RPS Group has entered into an agreement to acquire the Norwegian project management consultancy OEC – providing project management services to the oil & gas, construction, real estate, manufacturing, renewable energy, transport and healthcare sectors. The Norwegian Competition Authority is expected to approve the close of the transaction within approximately one month from the Stock Market announcement of the proposed acquisition (18th October 2013).

The OEC Group comprises OEC Consulting AS (established 1984) and its regional subsidiary OEC South AS, Hospitalitet AS (established 1991) and Optio FM AS (established 2004). All shareholders and subsidiaries of the OEC Group – around 120 persons – are joining RPS Group.

OEC Consulting focuses on project management for the oil & gas, construction & property, industrial, renewable energy, health sector and corporate development sectors with recent projects including project management for the recently completed 50,000tpa Romerike biogas plant in Oslo, and project and engineering management in developing floating devices for LNG transportation company Höegh with whom OEC has worked since 2008.

Hospitalitet AS provides consulting and project management services for the health sector, and is currently leading the implementation and construction of Østfold’s new 300,000 capacity hospital for client RHA. The hospital will service the entire region and is due to open in 2016. OIOEC Group has framework agreements with all four of Norway’s regional health authorities.

Optio FM AS leads management operation, maintenance and development of property and construction. Optio’s experience includes the development of scheduled maintenance plans for Oslo energy agency EGE’s three recycling plants, based on mapping of current work processes and performance targets. The successes of the new maintenance plans to date are informing further maintenance plans for the client.

The acquisition expands RPS’ energy and BNE businesses in Scandinavia with skill sets and services complementing our existing skills and experience. It provides a platform for significant current and long-term growth in the Scandinavian market.

Challenging currents in Tanzania

10 October 2013

Challenging currents in Tanzania

RPS MetOcean Pty Ltd’s team in Perth, Australia has been awarded the Tanzania Gas Project Metocean Survey by Statoil (Tanzania). The survey is to assist Statoil in developing a field in 2600m of water and consists of approximately 20 moorings at the site and along proposed pipeline routes.

Equipment will be mobilised in September and remain deployed for 15 months. This project win realises RPS MetOcean’s plan to geographically diversify and decrease our dependence on local markets. The contract was won on the back of a strong technical proposal at competitive tender against other oceanographic companies that were already operating in East Africa.

This is the second major contract with Statoil, as we are currently four months in to a year-long survey on a pipeline route between Italy and Albania.

RPS Evans Hamilton International (EHI) has been assisting RPS MetOcean with the contract in Italy and with acquiring some of the specialised equipment required for Tanzania. EHI and MetOcean are both meteorological and oceanographic specialist companies looking for opportunities to work together and leverage intellectual property.

The contract represents significant technical challenges as the Agulhas Current (western boundary current of the southwest Indian Ocean) causes some of the strongest deep water currents in the world. Surface currents are expected to reach 1.8 m/s (3.5 kts) at the 2600m deep site. Accumulated drag on mooring lines through the water column makes mooring designs challenging.