Northern Ireland

Whitemountain Quarries wins Belfast International Airport contract

A Northern Ireland construction firm has won the contract to resurface the main runway at Belfast International Airport.

Belfast International Airport said Whitemountain Quarries would carry out the work between March and May.

The work will take place overnight so there will be no impact on normal airport activities.

Other work will also be carried out including modifications and upgrades to airfield ground lighting and drainage.

Over the period of the contract, the existing surface along the one and three quarter mile runway will be removed and resurfaced with specially designed asphalt.

The asphalt will be grooved to provide improved surface drainage, in addition to enhanced skid resistance.

Belfast International Airport managing director, John Doran, said: "In this our 50th anniversary year, this investment is a clear statement of our commitment to the local economy and the people who use our airport.

"I'm delighted to be in the position to say that a local company with all the required technical experience has won this important contract. The runway covers an area of 18 Wembley football pitches and the contractor will use 26,000 tonnes of asphalt, all of which indicates the scale of what's involved."

Mark Kelly, managing director, Whitemountain Quarries, said the company was "delighted" to have secured the contract.

"We will be employing the latest construction techniques and, of course, working under floodlights will safeguard the smooth day-to-day operation of airport - an essential part of the project," he said.

"This contract will safeguard up to 70 jobs in these challenging economic conditions."

Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, welcomed the announcement.

"This news is an excellent start to help celebrate the airports 50th anniversary and I congratulate everyone involved as it quite literally builds for the future," he said.

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