Runway Bidders Could Ditch Plans For Huge Tarmac Plant

airport runwayContractors bidding for the work to resurface St Mary’s Airport runway could ditch plans to ship in a large batching plant to the islands.

That was one of the proposals being put forward to reduce the cost of the project, which is estimated to cost £800,000.

The high price was driven by the need to bring in a special plant that could make tarmac on-site for the resurfacing work.

But in a report that went before councillors at last Thursday’s Transport Committee meeting, Chief Fire Officer Steve Webster said the bidders were looking at other options, such as bringing in the tarmac on heated lorries or using a smaller batching plant.

This could bring the cost down by up to 25%, enough to buy a new fire and rescue vehicle, said Steve.

It’s unclear, though, how this would affect plans to use the plant afterwards to resurface roads on St Mary’s.

Steve’s report was intended to show how the airport could manage its assets sustainably over the next 20 to 25 years, as passenger numbers and income decline.

They need to start setting money aside to pay for any future resurfacing work on the airport, said Director of Finance Peter Lawrence.

That might come in around 2033, although Strategic Development Manager, Diana Mompoloki said that by creating a good standard runway this time, it’s likely that just the surface will need to be skimmed to improve the friction.

That should cost significantly less money.

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