Experts Discuss St Mary’s Airport Improvements

Runway will need repairs soon

Today is the second day of meetings between key users of St Mary’s airport and experts who will resurface the runway and redesign the terminal building next summer.

The runway was last overhauled in 1991 and will soon require significant work to guarantee uninterrupted use.

The six weeks of work is scheduled for August and September and there’ll be no disruption to flights, as workers will be on the job through the night, after airport hours.

It’ll cost around £700,000 and when completed should last at least another 15 years.

Keith Waywell, who is managing the project for URS Consulting, says around 4,000 tonnes of material will be brought over for the construction.

The company has had previous experience of airport work in other islands like Guernsey, the Maldives and the Scottish island of Islay, which is often compared to Scilly in transport reports. Keith said the logistics are going to be pretty similar here.

He said there won’t be many workers on the job, probably around 12, and they could be housed in containers.

Working through the night is unlikely to cause too much disturbance to neighbours, although Keith admitted that the machine that takes off the old runway surface is noisy, but they’ll use that early in the evening, just after the airport closes.

And there will be additional benefits. The roads in the centre of Hugh Town will be resurfaced at the same time to make the best use of the bulky equipment that they will have to bring over.

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