Belfast Telegraph

Belfast firm Lagan Construction lands £40m work on global airports

By Margaret Canning

Belfast construction and engineering firm Lagan Construction International has won three new global military airport contracts worth a combined £40m.

The company, part of Lagan Construction Group, will carry out work in Gibraltar and Cyprus for Defence Infrastructure Organisation - with the work valued at a combined £31m.

It is also Florida-bound after winning a deal with the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command for runway repairs at a field in Milton in the state. 

The contracts are the latest in a long line of big-money airfield and runway deals for the business - now regarded as an international specialist in airport jobs.

Lagan Construction Group is based in Belfast and employs 900 people after a merger earlier this year. In its latest accounts for year ending March 31, 2014, the company had pre-tax profits of £4.8m.

It is understood airport work accounts for around a quarter of the company's profits.

Chief executive Colin Loughran said: "Having completed projects on over 50 airports across five continents, airport infrastructure works are a core part of our business and our teams are experienced in providing the engineering skills and technologies necessary to deliver both airside and groundside support facilities."

In Gibraltar, Lagan Construction International staff will be upgrading the surface of the 6,000ft runway at the island's RAF base, as well as the airfield ground lighting, with the work to be finished next January.

In Cyprus, Lagan Construction International will work in a joint venture with Iacovou Brothers on RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus, with work to be finished by January 2017.

The Florida project will involve reconstruction of runways, and will take a year to finish.

Lagan Construction International will produce 100,000 US tons of hot-mix asphalt by installing its own batch plant on-site.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last year, Mr Loughran said airport work was high risk. "You have to treat the airport like it is your own and because of that we have a very strong reputation," he said.

"Everybody involved in airports wants quality and safety. The runway is a key asset and if you can't land an aircraft safely, then you don't have an airport."

Earlier this year Lagan Construction Group took over H&J Martin in Belfast for an undisclosed sum.

Following the merger Lagan Construction Group's workforce swelled to 900 people in a firm with a combined turnover of more than £300m.

A spokeswoman for Lagan Construction Group said it had recently finished even bigger airport contracts, including significant work at Guernsey Airport valued at £80m.

It completed an earlier airport project at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in 1998. Other recent airport contracts include a deal at Edinburgh Airport worth £4.3m, Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, a deal worth £156m, Lungi International Airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone worth £8m, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, USA, worth £8.7m.

Belfast Telegraph