Dublin Airport South Apron Extension

The South Apron Extension at Dublin Airport involved the addition of four new Code C stands (3 x A321, 1x A320 which also facilitate a self-manoeuvring ATR aircraft). To facilitate the development, existing structures, equipment and infrastructure needed to be relocated to alternative locations within the airport. The project consisted of an enabling works contract implemented in advance of a main civil works contract. RPS provided multi-disciplinary design services to Dublin Airport Authority for both contracts.


Key details

Project name

Dublin Airport South Apron Extension 


Dublin Airport Authority 


Dublin, Ireland 

Start date


Completion date 


Services provided

  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Project management
  • Health & safety
  • Surface water drainage
  • Culvert design
  • Hydrological drainage monitoring
  • Pollution control facilities
  • Hydrological drainage monitoring
  • Treatment of contaminated run-off
  • Foul sewer design
  • Management of contaminated run-off
  • Contract administration


A particularly challenging project element was controlling the discharge of uncontaminated surface water to the Cuckoo Stream as this stream receives the greater part of the airport drainage. The management of surface water was not only a key issue for the local community - it was an aviation safety risk for the airport. RPS carried out detailed design to ensure that all potential contaminated run off was captured and separated from surface water prior to discharge to the Cuckoo Stream. 

Additional project challenges addressed included:

  • Sustainable and effective drainage solution to manage runoff from the south apron areas;
  • Sustainable management of contaminated runoff from apron and aircraft stands de-icing activities;
  • Development of preliminary designs for procurement and appointment of a suitable contractor to deliver the works; and
  • Management of the design review process in accordance with Design and Build Contract (FIDIC Yellow Book).


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Enabling Works Contract

RPS provided detailed design, tender documents and contract administration services for the development of approximately 8,500m2 of concrete pavement area. This facilitated storage areas for ground service equipment relocated to support delivery of the main civil works. The design solutions we developed for the Enabling Works contract included:

  • Detailed design of the surface water drainage and attenuation system to store 1:100 annual exceedance probability (AEP) below ground. Our solution consisted of large open channels which conveyed run-off to the attenuation tank with a capacity of approximately 840m3.
  • Detailed design of the petrol oil interceptor to ensure contaminated run-off was captured and separated from surface water prior to discharge to the local Cuckoo Stream.
  • Hydrological drainage modelling to size the culvert as part of the Cuckoo Stream diversion.

Main Civil Works 

RPS were appointed to prepare Outline Design, Tender Documents and Contract Administration for a Design Build Contract (FIDIC Yellow Book) to develop four new Code C stands, associated civil, mechanical and electrical infrastructure including diversion of the Cuckoo Stream.  For this package of works, we prepared preliminary designs of four new stands, associated lighting, power supply, pavement surface water run-off, de-icing drainage and attenuation facilities. The surface area drained was 17,000m2 to store 1:100 AEP below ground and the capacity of the surface water attenuation tank was approximately 1,200m3.

Other services for this stage of works included:

  • Design reviews of the Contractor's design to ensure potential contaminated run-off was captured and separated prior to discharge to the Cuckoo Stream.
  • PSDP for the Preliminary Design Stage.
  • Design reviews of the Designer’s hydraulic model, foul sewer and replacement pump selection

Project statistics

capital cost
17,000 m2
surface area
8,500 m2
concrete pavement area

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