Manchester Airport gets runway material ‘first’ for UK mainland

Manchester Airport gets runway material 'first' for UK mainlandA material never used for runways at UK mainland flight centres has been put in place at Manchester Airport.

Beton Bitumineux Aeronautique – otherwise known as BBA – is often used for runways abroad but never in the UK, Costain explained.

The construction company was put in charge of giving the north-west landing strip a makeover under a £18.6 million deal.

As well as resurfacing the 45-metre wide and 3-km long runway, new ground lighting was installed.

"Whereas with new runway asphalt you normally have to cut grooves into it to help water drain off and improve friction, BBA is self-draining and has instant friction characteristics when it's laid," Paul Hancock, the Costain project manager, asserted.

In order to carry out the work, the main runway was closed five nights a week, but the scheme is expected to be completed late next month.

Manchester Airport recently also invested in new fast passenger luggage screening X-rays at a cost of £12 million.

The machines, said to be more reliable than current equipment, are set to be installed in spring 2012.

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