cork airport runway

Colas Ltd has been awarded the main construction contract to rebuild Cork Airport’s main runway

Around 250 construction and supply jobs will be created onsite during the improvements to Cork Airport’s main runway, including a number of local specialist subcontractor roles.

Over €40m (~£34.4m) is being invested in Cork Airport between 2020-2022 to upgrade the critical infrastructure, of which the main runway reconstruction, a new Electrical Sub-Station and a new Hold Baggage Security screening system, will be delivered.

Colas was awarded the contract following an extensive EU tender process.

The project to reconstruct the main runway (16/34) is supported by Government funding of €10m from the Department of Transport, with the balance of the funding coming from Cork Airport’s parent company, daa plc.

Planning and design work for the reconstruction of the main runway started last year.

‘Plans for recovery and growth’

Minister Hildegarde Naughton, minister of state at the Department of Transport, said: ‘‘This will be the single-biggest investment by any Government at Cork Airport and, when complete, it will serve as a key strategic asset for Cork and the entire region over the next 20 years.

“By closing the airport, this very significant project can be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with less long-term impacts on airlines and passengers.

“Following the 10-week closure period, the airport will be in a position to reopen in good time for Christmas and will enable the airport to operate in an unrestricted way in 2022.”

Minister Naughton added: “Government policy on airports, like Cork, is to optimise conditions for regional development and connectivity – both for social and economic benefits.

“Government recognises that as employers, airports contribute to the local economy and employment is also supported through the various ancillary services that are provided to the airports.

“The funding, which has been made available to Cork Airport in 2021, is a clear indication of the importance that Government attaches to this airport and its capacity to weather the current crisis and to plan for recovery and growth into the future.”

Niall MacCarthy, managing director at Cork Airport, commented: “The rebuilding of the main runway is the largest construction project to be undertaken at Cork Airport since the building of the new terminal 15 years ago.

“The construction programme includes a reconstruction of the main runway and the replacement of the airfield electrical systems, ducts and pits. These are all between 20 and 30 years old and the resulting electrical upgrade will reduce our runway electrical carbon footprint by 70%.

“These works are necessary to ensure that the main runway at Cork Airport continues to meet and exceed strict national and international regulations governing the operation and specification of runways at major airports and position us well for the future.

“With our physical infrastructure rebuilt, we are fully committed to rebuilding our business and connectivity and making Cork Airport once again the second largest airport in the State and connecting the South of Ireland with the world.”

‘Reconstructing a piece of Ireland’s national infrastructure’

Carl Fergusson CEO Colas Limited, added: “We are delighted to be awarded the contract for the reconstruction of such a prestigious and high profile piece of Ireland’s national infrastructure.

“We look forward to working closely with the team at Cork Airport to deliver this project. The project will support in excess of 250 local construction and supply chain jobs throughout Munster during its delivery.

“The scale of the project, from start to finish cannot be underestimated involving detailed planning and logistics – 3,000 truckloads of asphalt, 500 maintenance hole pits to be built, 140 kilometres of electrical cable and 60 kilometres of cable duct and drains to be laid.

“This is a major project, which has a time-sensitive duration, and is essential to the economy of the South of Ireland.

“We are fully committed to its successful delivery from immediate mobilisation through to the key 10-week main construction phase later this year.”

Mobilisation and preparatory site works will begin at night immediately, without impacting the Summer flight schedule at the airport.

The main construction works will follow on a 24/7 basis over a 10-week period from 13 September. Construction of the new runway will be completed by 22 November.

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