RPS Manages Safety Upgrades at UK Airports

02 Feb 2010

The UK aviation industry carries more than 180 million passengers –in approximately two million flights, and over 2.1 million tonnes of freight every year1. This is across 145 airports, 200 operators and 170 air traffic service providers including 80 air traffic control units –staffed by more than 2,000 air traffic controllers.

This year, RPS has undertaken the completion of a key project to renew the radar systems in use at Belfast and Cardiff International Airports. The existing radars were becoming outdated and incurring high maintenance costs. RPS was appointed to provide project management and infrastructure design services for the scheme, and recommended a complete turnkey project to supply and install new Mode S radars.

RPS guided the project from the site selection reports, employer’s requirements, contractor pre-qualification and tender as well as leading a value engineering exercise to ensure the project was in line with both the client’s budget and programme. RPS was able to provide full services including project management, technical and regulatory expertise for all aspects of the project. This was achieved through the management of sub-consultants and as a result of the proactive approach by RPS, the airports have been able to quickly progress to contractor selection and begin the vital work to replace the outdated equipment.

A number of airports have contracted RPS to provide project management and consultancy services for their safety upgrade projects. This has included Manchester Airport where RPS is providing Employers Representative services for the refurbishment to Runway 1 (05L/23R). At Durham Tees Valley Airport, RPS has designed and project managed the upgrade and replacement of the Airfield Ground Lighting system (AGL) including the runway, both approach arrays, and all taxiways. These works also included the replacement of the AGL control and monitoring system and the provision of new CAA compliant standby generators. The introduction of runway incursion stop bars as part of these works as further improved the safety and efficiency of aircraft ground movements.

A major safety works package has also recently been completed for the City of Derry Airport. RPS designed and project managed a comprehensive scheme to upgrade the Runway End Safety Areas RESA’s) for the main runway, a runway turnpad,15,000m3 of new apron and a code D taxiway link along with the upgrading and relocation of navigational aids.

Following this successful project, RPS was appointed to design and project manage two further projects. These projects are near completion and involved the re-surfacing of the runway, including the replacement of AGL and the reconstruction of the existing apron. Both of these projects will ensure safe airfield operations continue at the airports.

1 Statistics quotes are from the Department for Transport and from the Civil Aviation Authority.

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