Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Old to New – Roads Recycled into Runways

Old to New – Roads Recycled into Runways
12 October 2017

Work starts later this week to refresh the runways at Sanday and Westray – using recycled road surface material.

The works are expected to take around 2 weeks to complete at each airfield, depending on weather conditions, starting with Westray.

The runways will be resurfaced with material collected by the Council from road repairs and renewals across Orkney. This material is processed and graded at Cursiter Quarry, before being transported to the airfields to be placed in a series of thin layers to build up the new surface on the runway.

Careful planning by the OIC engineering team and contractor (BDS Plant Hire and Contractors Ltd.) means scheduled flights will be able to be carried out without disruption during the works.

Peter Bevan, the Council’s Engineering Services Manager, explains: “Aside from the environmental and cost benefits, as the recycled road material contains bitumen, it packs down well to provide a long wearing surface - and as there is no curing time, we can carry out the work between flights.”

Last year, the runways at Papa Westray and Stronsay were similarly resurfaced, with Eday and North Ronaldsay’s runways also earmarked for the treatment in future years.