Innovative asphalt a runway success

A specialist durable asphalt mix design, produced entirely off-site, has been used to resurface the runway at Carlisle Lake District Airport.
It was the first time Hanson UK has supplied the hard-wearing material, which can be used in both the binder and surface courses and has been designed to meet the requirements of current BAA and Defence Estates Airfield Specifications for runways, aprons and taxi ways.
Unlike most traditional methods used for UK runways, the 15,000 tonnes of Hanson Airfields was produced at two off-site plants, saving the time and costs associated with having to establish an on-site asphalt plant, helping to meet the project’s tight delivery programme.
Hanson worked with bitumen supplier Shell on testing and approving two versions of the surface and binder course design mixes for the contract, which also included supplying 8,000 tonnes of standard heavy-duty binder course to main contractor J Hopkins (Contractors) Ltd.
“Hanson Airfields was laid with conventional equipment by the contractor,” said Hanson Technical Services Manager Jon Sharp.
“Tight technical controls at our asphalt plants and on site ensured all material was supplied and laid in line with airfield specification requirements.
“The result is a durable alternative for airfield surfacing with the added benefits of being produced off-site. The project has been quite an achievement and led to us breaking our own production record by supplying more than 900 tonnes of material on three consecutive days out of our Keepershield plant in Northumberland.”