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Sat July 31 2021

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Colas picked for Cork runway rebuild

21 Jul Colas has won the main construction contract for the fast-track reconstruction of Cork Airport’s main runway.

Cork Airport MD Niall MacCarthy, minister of State Hildegarde Naughton and Colas Ireland CEO Gearoid Lohan
Cork Airport MD Niall MacCarthy, minister of State Hildegarde Naughton and Colas Ireland CEO Gearoid Lohan

The runway project is a major part of investment of more than €40m (£35m) in the airport.

Around 250 construction and supply jobs will be created on site during the project, including a number of local specialist subcontractor roles. 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 September 13. Construction of the new runway is to be completed by 22nd November in advance of the busy Christmas travel period.

Over €40m is being invested in Cork Airport between 2020-2022 to upgrade infrastructure at the Airport. The main runway reconstruction, a new electrical sub-station and a new hold baggage security screening system constitute the major parts.

Colas was awarded the contract following an extensive EU tender process. The project to reconstruct the main runway (16/34) is being supported by government funding of €10m from the Department of Transport, with the balance of the funding coming from Cork Airport’s parent company to complete the project.

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Planning and design work for the reconstruction of the main runway started last year. Last Autumn, in light of the financial difficulties caused by Covid-19 and the strategic importance of the Cork Airport runway project to the entire southern region, funding was sought from government to proceed with the project.

Niall MacCarthy, managing director at Cork Airport, said: “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.”

Colas CEO Carl Fergusson said: “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.”

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