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Airport maintenance firm starts work to upgrade London Southend runway

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The terminal building at London Southend Airport (Chris Radburn/PA)

The terminal building at London Southend Airport (Chris Radburn/PA)

The terminal building at London Southend Airport (Chris Radburn/PA)

A new Northern Ireland company has started work on upgrading the runway at London Southend Airport.

The airport in Essex is owned by the Stobart Group.

Lagan Airport Maintenance (LAM) emerged in July 2017 to act as a subcontractor for Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, by focusing on smaller airport works such as maintenance for airport operators and undertaking small scale civil projects.

In January it started work on a three-month project at London Southend Airport after being appointed by Stobart Rail & Civils.

The work, which must be carried out overnight between 11.30pm and 5.30am, includes the removal of 50mm of the existing runway surface and the installation of 200mm overlay of grooved Marshall asphalt, utilising an in-house batching plant.

Other works will include friction testing, airfield ground lighting and white lining.

LAM director Kieran McIlhatton said: "The team at Lagan Airport Maintenance are thrilled to have secured this project at London Southend Airport.

"We look forward to working collaboratively with the airport team whilst delivering the project to the highest safety and quality standards."

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, which bought the airport in 2008, said the work was essential to maintain a safe runway, adding: "The last set of major runway works were in 2011 and were part of the runway extension development.

"Previous to that, maintenance was carried out in 1994. We are enhancing the durability and performance of the runway, within our existing S106 planning agreement, as part of the strategic plan for continued investment to cater for the growth of the airport."

Located just under 40 miles from the centre of London, Southend was once the third-busiest airport catering for passengers from the city until it was overtaken by Standsted. Since the Stobart takeover in 2008, Southend has added a new terminal, control tower and extended its runway. It has also added a regular rail connection to the centre of London.

Belfast Telegraph