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Runway Maintenance Work Completed at RAF Brize Norton

Work has been completed on maintenance to the runway at RAF Brize Norton. RAF Brize Norton’s 3,050 metre runway is one of the busiest in Defence, used predominantly by the RAF’s Air Mobility Force and regular visiting aircraft.

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Due to the impact of heat damage to portions of the runway surface, RAF Brize Norton’s Estate Management Squadron (EMS) and Operations Support Wing (OSW) in collaboration with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) quickly began planning work to carry out necessary maintenance to ensure the runway’s operational capability into the future.

Photo - Vehicles and operators carrying out maintenance to the runway at RAF Brize Norton

DIO, EMS and OSW worked quickly with Defence contractors Vinci to put into action a plan to repair the necessary portions of the runway as swiftly and safely as possible, while minimising operational impact to the Air Mobility Force.

Chris Colley, Defence Infrastructure Organisation said:

“The rapid deployment and team work of DIO’s Technical, Project Management Organisation and Core Service teams, supported  by our industry partner Vinci, ensured task progression at pace, through all approval requirements and into Construction! It was a carefully choreographed programme, (varied by weather) delivered successfully, and in full collaboration and coordination with Station and Air Infra team stakeholders.”

Chris Colley
Defence Infrastructure Organisation

To carry out the work, a large logistical plan was put into effect. RAF Brize Norton aircraft were based at various RAF Stations and civilian airports across the UK to enable the continuation of Air Mobility support to Defence, including the temporary relocation of crew and personnel. No.1 Air Mobility Wing’s Air Movements Squadron rebased their operation and several personnel to RAF Waddington ensuring no loss of operational capability.

Photo - Vehicles and operators carrying out maintenance to the runway at RAF Brize Norton

Group Captain Claire O’Grady, Station Commander said:

Photo - Group Captain Claire O’Grady, Station Commander RAF Brize NortonFollowing intensive investigative work by DIO a plan was rapidly developed to address the well-known heat related issues with the RAF Brize Norton runway at the 07 and 25 ends. The Station EMS and OSW worked closely with the on-site DIO managers, DIO projects team, Vinci as the infrastructure delivery partner and Air Command Infrastructure specialists to turn the technical analysis into a funded and deliverable works package that was progressed with unprecedented speed to meet a taut runway embargo. Without the significant support of all these parties this large undertaking would not have been possible. Furthermore, the RAF Brize Norton OSW worked hard to safely deliver a reduced length runway which allowed a small number of operationally essential flights to occur whilst the infrastructure works took place. This has been a truly collaborative and successful effort to improve the resilience of the RAF Brize Norton runway until its planned full resurfacing which will take place from 2025 onwards.”

Group Captain Claire O’Grady
Station Commander

While work on the runway was taking place, Air Traffic Control worked hard to facilitate a working runway for operationally essential tasks, retaining RAF Brize Norton’s National Standby commitments to Defence.

The period of reduced aircraft activity at RAF Brize Norton also created an opportunity to accelerate a programme of additional work to the wider airfield, including remarking of lines and maintenance to taxiways, maximising the time available to the team.


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