Taoiseach opens the Atkins designed runway Ireland West Airport

Ireland West Airport has officially opened its new runway following a €11m refurbishment designed and project managed by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group.

The 2,400m runway, which is the third longest in the country, handles all flights at Ireland West Airport and is central to the airport’s vision to attract 1 million passengers per year.

Atkins provided specialist aviation design and technical services, supporting main joint venture contractors Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure and Clare Civil Engineering.

Speaking at the official opening of the runway on Friday 20th September, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “Todays’ ceremony marks the successful completion of a truly ambitious project. All of the work was done on time and on budget and I really want to acknowledge the work of the main contractors Lagan Aviation and Clare Civil Engineering, and also project partners Atkins.”

This is the first time in its 34-year history that the runway has had a full overlay, including taxi ways, and an upgrade of the instrumentation landing systems. The four-month refurbishment works took place overnight during non-operational hours to minimise disruption and enable the airport to function normally during the day.

Atkins was engaged by Ireland West Airport to provide full design and procurement services for the upgrade to the runway and aeronautical ground lighting. Our commission, with support from our cost management team Faithful + Gould, included for the development of a collaborative procurement strategy through Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) supported by the NEC suite of Contracts. Atkins was appointed as NEC Project Manager for the construction, commissioning and handover of the construction works.

Justin Norman, Managing Director of Atkins Ireland, said: “The new runway will help Ireland West Airport continue to grow as a key gateway to the West of Ireland and beyond. It’s successful delivery – on time and to budget – is testament to a truly collaborative project team that worked seamlessly throughout.”

Brian McKavanagh, Technical Director at Atkins Ireland, said: ‘‘Ireland West Airport made the incisive decision at an early stage to develop and deliver this project through a transparent and collaborative agreement that allows for properly managed risk sharing. Atkins was able to use their extensive NEC experience in conjunction with their sister company Faithful+Gould to develop a procurement strategy that brought the successful contractor into pre-detailed design, ECI and then into a negotiated contract for the main works. This partnering ethos allowed for ongoing mitigation of safety, programme and commercial risk and ultimately to the completion of the project on time and within budget.”

Pictured above: Andrew Whelan – Director, Clare Civil Engineering Ltd, Tomás Grimes – IWAK Project Manager, Michael Ring TD – Minister for Rural & Community Development (lower in the picture), Steve Turner – Director at Lagan Aviation and Infrastructure (above minister Ring), Pat Egan – Senior Project Engineer, Atkins, Leo Varadkar – An Taoiseach, Justin Norman – Managing Director Atkins Ireland and Brian McKavanagh – Technical Director, Atkins