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Airport Runway Project Before Tynwald 15 April 2008

Tynwald will this month vote on the planned Runway End Safety Areas (RESA) and pavement refurbishment development at Isle of Man Airport.

The project has three essential elements:

• To provide the recommended length safety zones at both ends of the main runway to meet the latest proposed UK and International safety standards and comply with current industry ‘best practice’. This will provide a significantly improved ‘overshoot’ and ‘undershoot’ area

• To refurbish, strengthen and resurface the main 08/26 runway and some of the taxiways, as part of an on-going programme of maintenance

• To pave the newly provided RESAs in order to provide starter strips to take a small operational advantage to the runway length, particularly the landing distance available, supporting the Airport’s ability to manage and grow air services into the future.

The project, which will involve building a promontory into the sea, had originally been scheduled to go before Tynwald in February.

Airport Director Ann Reynolds explained: “The decision to remove the vote from the order paper for the February sitting of Tynwald was not taken lightly. It was based upon the very late advice we received from the proposed main contractor regarding an unexpected lack of availability of barges suitable to bring the large rock armour to the Isle of Man from Norway during 2008.

“This situation has now been clarified. The barges will be available for supplying rock armour in 2009 and the availability has been reaffirmed formally by the rock armour supplier. After careful deliberation of the options open to the Department, it has been determined, subject to Tynwald approval, to progress the works over two years, starting with the runway resurfacing work in 2008, and leading on to the creation of the promontory in 2009 when the barges are available.”

The new proposed timescale involves an extra cost of £2.9 million. However, after considering all options, it is the most cost-effective. It also provides improved operational and safety advantages at the earliest time, is cost advantageous over the alternative of deferring the whole project for one year, and facilitates the delayed supply of rock armour. In addition, it allows consultation with local residents to continue as planned.

The new construction programme will bring airfield and runway improvements in 2008, the promontory will be built in 2009, and the completion of the surfacing works to be done once the promontory is in place, including drainage and airfield lighting.

The significant dates, subject to Tynwald approval, would be:

? Mobilisation/commencement – May 2008

? Airfield surfacing – July to October 2008

? Promontory rock armour – April to August 2009

? Promontory infill – August/September 2009

? Airfield drainage – February to September 2009

? Physical completion – December 2009

? Contractual completion – 30 September 2010

The revised schedule will mean contractual time on site is increased by 36 weeks to an overall construction period of 77 weeks. The site will be closed over winter period, meaning the overall construction will take 20 months to complete.

Mrs Reynolds said: “Looking at the options that were left to us, this proposed timescale is the most cost effective option. The new programme does come at a higher cost and the Tynwald vote is now £43,992,342, which is an increase of £2,919,842 on the previous proposed funding. The majority of the extra cost is a direct result of the extended construction programme.”

This includes:

• Costs relating to the main contractor – the general project-related costs in relation to 36 weeks’ extra site presence; re-mobilisation costs, and return to site to complete surfacing works, drainage and lighting to the promontory in second year

• Costs associated with a predicted increase in the purchase of hydrocarbon based products, particularly fuel

• Devaluation of Sterling against the Euro has affected the cost or rock and infill delivery

• Enhanced environmental costs – increased provisions have been made to safeguard the protection of the environment, along with increased scope of provisions for archaeological investigations

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