Galliford Try EMA Runway Refurbishment v7 (1)

Runway refurbishment shortlisted for national construction award

The refurbishment of East Midlands Airport's runway has been shortlisted for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) national ‘People’s Choice Award’.

In June this year the project an ICE Merit Award for large projects. As a regional winner, it will now compete with 11 other projects from across the UK for the national award which is determined by public vote.

Led by construction partner Galliford Try, the runway was refurbished during seven weekends in November and December 2016. During the work the airport was closed to all air traffic for 48 hours each weekend.

A team of 800 workers laid 58,000 tonnes of material across 150,000 square metres. Over 1,200 lights were replaced with more environmentally friendly LEDs. This large and complex project was completed on time and to budget. The refurbishment has extended the life of the runway for another 12-17 years.

At 2,893 metres, East Midlands Airport’s runway is the seventh longest in the country. The airport was originally a Royal Air Force station, RAF Castle Donington, which was decommissioned in 1946. The first major programme of building work and runway investment began after it was purchased by a consortium of local government authorities in 1964. Then it had a 5,850ft runway. In 1970 it was agreed that a new freight complex should be developed and the runway and terminal were extended. The runway was extended again in the late 70s.

The ICE’s People’s Choice Awards recognise the top UK civil engineering projects of the year. Of the 12 projects shortlisted last year, the Forth Road Bridge reopening was voted as 2016’s winner.

To follow in the footsteps of such an iconic piece of national infrastructure would be a great boost to the East Midlands, says Andy Cliffe, East Midlands Airport’s Managing Director. “We’re very proud to be shortlisted for such a prestigious national civil engineering award.

"The success of the project to refurbish our runway was very much down to the meticulous planning combined with the professionalism of the execution. Disruption was minimal and our many customers were appreciative of this. As a key enabler of the growth and health of the East Midlands economy, the airport’s infrastructure needs to be fit for purpose. We need to be able to respond to the demands of both freight and passenger operators who see us as strategically important to fulfilling their growth ambitions. I appeal to all our partners and customers to vote for this project and, if we are successful, it would bring great pride to the East Midlands."

Colin Abbott, Aviation Director Galliford Try, said: “We’re delighted that the East Midlands Airport runway refurbishment has been put forward as the chosen project for the East Midlands region.

“The project was the first of its kind in the UK and the aviation industry and we were incredibly proud to have been the principle contractor. The unique nature of the project led to some great innovative solutions and the collaboration and dedication of the Galliford Try and East Midlands Airport teams contributed to its success. It is, without doubt, an outstanding example of construction at its best and it would be fantastic to win the ICE People’s Choice Award for 2017.”

Molly McKenzie, ICE East Midlands and West Midlands Regional Director, said:

“Good civil engineering projects greatly benefit people’s everyday lives, by shaping the world and safeguarding our future. An industry first, the successful completion of East Midlands Airport refurbishment in such a short time, with minimal disruption, is testament to the great team work of all involved in this mammoth task. I encourage members of the community to show their appreciation and cast their vote for the project to win.”

Voting opens on Monday 13 November and closes on Friday 1 December. To cast your vote please visit The winning project will be revealed on Wednesday 13 December. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle and a 6-month Kindle Unlimited Membership. The public can follow award updates on Twitter using the #ICEPeopleschoice hashtag.