Over 40 years Aviation experience

RPS has over 40 years experience in the Aviation sector enabling our team to develop an in-depth understanding of the airside environment, the commercial drivers and the contractor constraints that our clients have to consider with each development.

We offer tailored solutions across the globe, helping them to balance their commercial goals with their responsibilities to the environment and local communities.

Our approach combines environmental and planning factors with a focus on maximising related revenues and design teams of Architects and Engineers with specialised knowledge of aviation related development.

Our specialist capabilities include:

Terminal Buildings


Fixed Base Operations

Air Cargo facilities

Aprons & Runways

Civil and military

Watch our new video, Delivering Airport Development for an insight into our planning, environmental and design expertise in the aviation sector in the UK.

Our services include:

AGL & Lighting Assessment

Air Quality & Carbon Assessments

Airfield Infrastructure Design

Airport Masterplanning

Airports Utilities Studies


Civil & Structural Engineering

Community Impact Studies

Environmental Impact Assessments

Expert Witness

Health Impact Assessments

Landscape & Visual Impact Assessments

Noise & Vibration Studies

Planning Consultancy

Stakeholder Engagement

Surface Access Strategic Planning & Design

Surface Water & Pollution Control

Building Service Engineering.

Download our Aviation Capability Statement here

Case Studies

Fixed Base Operation Terminal

Fixed Base Operation Terminal, Luton

Ocean Sky

RPS provided extensive design consultancy services for the extension and reconfiguration of an existing office building in which to consolidate the Client's operations within a more contained area of London Luton Airport's boundary.

The designated building originally housed offices on the 1st and 2nd floors with parking provided below in an undercroft. The Client required an extension to the existing undercroft and infill it to create a total executive FBO floorspace of 461m2.

The VIP Centre houses airside and landside facilities including a reception area, arrivals & departure lounges, crew lounges, a meeting room, and operations rooms together with ancillary support facilities.

The Client stipulated the need for high quality finishes both internally and externally. This included appropriate landscaping to reflect their corporate image and aviation heritage.

Our engineering teams were also involved with a number of infrastructure elements including the facilitation of two new Ocean Sky aprons totalling c.10,500m2 to handle their aircraft up to Boeing Business Jet size, a new airport potable water supply point, airside vehicle wash down and the relocation of a substation.

RPS also provided information for the site's planning applications and, assisted the Client's planning team.

Aviation Video



Guernsey Airport

Guernsey Airport, Guernsey

States of Guernsey

RPS was involved in the detailed design, complex planning application and subsequent construction to ensure Guernsey's Airport will meet the Islander's demands for the next 30 years.

RPS was initially appointed to prepare a masterplan and a scoping study for infrastructure development. Our detailed advice included a review and report considering current and potential Aircraft types to visit the Island.

The original masterplan identified the need to rehabilitate existing aprons, the overlaying of expired taxiways, the re-profiling of and displacing of the runway to accommodate new Runway End Safety Areas (RESA), new improved Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) and a new drainage system.

The Planning Application, including a full Environmental Impact Assessment which was approved.

As well as project managing the construction period, RPS also developed the detailed design to rehabilitate the infrastructure and fulfil the first stage of the masterplan, displacing the 1463m runway approx 120m towards the west with a new, extended RESA.

A dedicated temporary dock facility was also created for the two year project.

Heathrow Terminal 5

Heathrow Terminal 5, London


RPS were retained by BAA’s strategic planning team throughout the preparation of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 (T5) project and the T5 Public Inquiry.

T5 sits on a 260 hectare site between the main runways and was designed to handle 35 million passengers a year. RPS was a key part of BAA’s team planning and environmental team from the start of the project in 1989 until consent had been granted and conditions were being discharged in 2002. RPS provided input in to Richard Roger’s initial masterplan, baseline environmental surveys, assessments for the Environmental Statements, planning advice for construction logistics facilities and provided three witnesses at the T5 Inquiries.

RPS specialists worked on numerous aspects over its course. The services and reports provided by RPS included:

Preparation of planning applications for logistics sites for T5 construction which occupied in excess of 30ha

Preparation of reports on the effects of the T5 Construction Programme upon local communities

Designing, compiling and managing a database of all commitments made by BAA and the permissions, licences and consents required to implement T5

Assessment of countryside policy impacts for the environmental statements of both the T5 development and the Highways Agency’s associated road improvements

Development of a wide-ranging Management Plan aimed at improving the appearance and nature conservation value of land west of the new Terminal and managing public access within the adjacent Colne Valley Park

Contaminated land investigation and remediation studies on the land within the applications.

T5 was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008.

London City Airport

London City Airport, London

London City Airport Ltd

RPS provided extensive design consultancy services for the extension and reconfiguration of an existing office building in which to consolidate the Client's operations within a more contained area of London City Airport's boundary.

RPS prepared the planning application for increasing the number of flights at the Airport. This is a step towards implementing the Airport's Master Plan, developed in response to the Government's Aviation White Paper.

Working with the project team, RPS prepared the Environmental Statement, Sustainability Appraisal, Carbon Analysis, Health Impact Assessment and various supporting planning documents.

After detailed consultation and negotiation, the Local Authority approved the proposals to increase the permitted flights from 73,000 to 120,000 per annum. Particular issues addressed within the EIA and planning documents included:

The assurance that public transport provision would be adequate

Managing changes in air quality, specifically due to the Airport's location close to an Air Quality Management Area

The unique noise monitoring system used to monitor and limit movements by weight and noisiness of the aircraft

Effects of the Airport's expansion on surrounding sites designated for development within the Local Plan or with existing planning permissions and the regeneration potential of the local area.

RPS has recently prepared Biodiversity and Sustainability Strategies in order to satisfy the Airport's S106 planning obligations.

Monarch Hangar, Birmingham

Monarch Hangar, Birmingham

Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd

RPS played a pivotal role in successfully delivering a new aircraft maintenance hangar at Birmingham Airport.

The new, state-of-the-art MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) facility was built to accommodate the servicing requirements of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Despite this massive 110,000ft2, facility being developed specifically to house two Dreamliner aircraft, flexibility is key and the cavernous, column free hangar space is can accommodate a mix of aircraft.

The hangar is supported by offices (c.25,000ft2), for fleet management plus specialist workshop space for the inspection/repair of modern composite materials. With approval from the CAA the Airside /Landside boundary was moved to ensure that works undertaken would:

not be subject to Airside’s stricter security measures,

minimise the opportunity / threat of FOD

have fewer restrictions on the use of cranes

reduce the opportunity for negative impact on the airport’s daily operations.

RPS assisted in the selection of Sisk Group to construct the facility and was also Employer’s Agent managing the delivery of the project to a challenging timetable.

A notable achievement in the Hangar’s construction was the installation of the ‘valley truss’ beam, at 4.2m deep it was the largest component, spanning 66m and weighing a staggering 80 tonnes.

RNAS Culdrose

RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall

Debut Services / Bardon Contracting

RPS provided extensive design consultancy services for RNAS Culdrose's drainage improvements and overlays to both its runway and taxiways.

The base remained open throughout the project which was completed within a restricted time scale. However, Phase 2's works were planned for a scheduled runway closure period but throughout Phase 3 the runway had to remain in operation. Existing pavement material was recycled and reused in the new construction.

Phase 2 included taking full possession of the runway to overlay and re-profile the primary runway with grooved Marshall asphalt, tie into subsidiary runways, rehabilitate / strengthen the taxiways inside the runway strip and reconstruct runway lengths to tie into existing concrete thresholds.

Phase 3 was a series of phased works to maintain the base's operations and:

Overlay/re-profile remaining lengths of subsidiary runways

Overlay/strengthen taxiways

Reconstruct some taxiways lengths to avoid excessive tie-ins to adjacent concrete aprons

Reconstruct compass bases with rigid construction

Upgrade of AGL (by others)

Rehabilitate and upgrade edge filter drain

Earthworks to runway/ taxiway strip to provide complex gradients

New covers and slabs to pits.

Stansted Airport, Essex

Stansted Airport, Essex


As strategic planning advisers to BAA, RPS provided advice and assisted in the preparation and submission of this application for making best use of the existing single runway, removing the 25 million a year cap on passenger numbers and increasing the limit on air transport movements to 264,000 a year.

Following the Local Authority’s refusal of the application, a public inquiry was held, at which RPS acted as an expert witness. Later that year, the Government decided to grant permission for increased passenger numbers on Stansted's existing single runway. On all significant points BAA’s case was fully supported by the Planning Inspector and endorsed by the Government.

In the next phase of Stansted’s expansion, RPS assisted in the preparation and submission of the 38 applications required to enable a second runway at the Airport. RPS provided strategic planning advice and co -ordinated the submission of the package of applications. RPS also co-ordinated and prepared the EIA accompanying the road and rail elements of the project.