Belfast Telegraph

Runway contracts take off for Northern Ireland building giant

By John Mulgrew

Lagan Construction International has completed a major £8m defence contract to resurface the Royal Air Force base in Gibraltar.

The Belfast-based firm, which is part of the Lagan Construction Group, carried out the work on behalf of the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The four-month contract involved the replacement of some 15,000 tonnes of asphalt and 200 airfield lights. Work was completed during night-time shifts, while the base remained in operation throughout.

Resurfacing was completed with the help of Lagan's plant machinery, which was shipped in from the UK.

Works included the sealing of 200,000 sq m of the runway strip, and construction of a new pit and duct system.

Steve Turner, director of international operations at Lagan Construction International, said: "The entire team have been working together to overcome significant challenges such as logistics of moving plant and material from UK to Gibraltar to deliver a high quality project.

"Everyone at Lagan Construction International is extremely proud of what has been achieved on this challenging project."

David Graham, DIO programme and projects delivery international deputy head, said: "Investing in infrastructure to enable military capability is a huge part of what DIO delivers for defence, so I'm really pleased with how quickly and smoothly this project has progressed.

"This was only possible because of how closely DIO, Lagan Construction International, RAF Gibraltar and the government of Gibraltar worked together to mitigate any possible problems."

British Forces Gibraltar commander, Commodore Ian McGhie said that 74,000 man hours were dedicated to resurfacing the runway, all without a single reported accident, completed two weeks early and within budget.

In September last year, Lagan Construction International announced it had won three global military airport contracts worth a combined £40m. Aside from the Gibraltar work, it landed a similar deal for Cyprus, and is Florida-bound after winning a contract with the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command for runway repairs at Milton.

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

Lagan Construction Group is currently behind some of Belfast's largest infrastructure projects, including a £150m joint venture with Somague for phase two of Ulster University's new Belfast campus. Lagan Construction has also been named as the preferred construction partner for a 407-bedroom student development nearby, at York Street.

Belfast Telegraph