Published on May 20th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer


€15m Runway Upgrade Commences at Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport has announced the commencement of a €15 million, 100 job project to upgrade the airport’s runway, the longest runway in Ireland at 3,199 metres.

Dublin based specialist in this area, Lagan Asphalt Group, with offices in Tulla in County Clare, has been appointed by the airport to undertake the project. The appointment follows their successful bid under an EU tender process. Work on the project includes the rehabilitation of the runway surface, the replacement of runway edge and centre line lighting with energy efficient LED lighting, ducting and other associated works. These works are scheduled to ensure that Ireland’s longest runway continues to meet the strict regulations governing the operation and specification of runways at major airports.

The project is being financed through a loan secured from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Announcing the project Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group said “Our runway is the airport’s greatest asset and has been the central artery of the airport allowing it to grow passenger numbers by 24% over the past four years. We want to see this continue and this [is] why the runway upgrade project is needed to protect this investment.” Shannon Airport provides vital access to the Wild Atlantic Way for tourists, business connectivity for FDI and indigenous companies, which actively stimulates employment right across the region.

The airport’s runway, built in 1961, was last fully rehabilitated in 1983 and has under gone regular maintenance over the intervening years. A full resurfacing of 2,400m of the 3,199m runway is now required. Outlining the nature of the work Mr. Thomas said “This is a challenging and complex project with work limited to small time periods every night in order to minimise any inconvenience to our customers. The work is very weather dependent, and will involve the resurfacing of the runway, with a grooved marshall asphalt and the replacement of both our runway centre line and edge lighting. At the end of this project we will possess an enhanced asset that will be key in driving forward our business over the next 25 years.” Commenting on the project Brian McManus, Lagan Asphalt Director and Project Manager stated “The project is one of the most significant runway rehabilitations anywhere on the island of Ireland. As Ireland’s third largest airport Shannon has seen a 24% increase in year on year passenger numbers since 2013 and it represents an important catalyst for the development of long term international business links and tourism visits.” Work will commence immediately and will take approximately 26 weeks to complete. The works are scheduled to take place at night, five days a week (excluding Sundays and Monday’s) and will not impact on any scheduled services at the airport for the duration of the project. Consultations have been taking place with aircraft operators for many months to minimise any inconvenience, in particular, with transit operators who use the airport on a 24-hour basis. Start times will vary on each night to facilitate scheduled services, with night works being completed by 6.00 am each morning in order to accept the arrival of the early morning wave of transatlantic flights and European flight departures.

The schedule for works for the Runway upgrade is as follows, all times are local:

  • Tuesday:     2200 – 0600
  • Wednesday: 2135 – 0600
  • Thursday:   2315 – 0600
  • Friday:        2355 – 0600
  • Saturday:    2250 – 0600

Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run at Shannon Airport on track for June 16th

The Runway Night Run at Shannon is set for take-off again this year with Friday June 16th announced as the date for the popular event. An estimated 2,000 participants of all grades and ages will gather for the fourth annual event that remains the largest of its kind at an Irish airport and will raise vital funds for two worthy charities, Cahercalla Community Hospital & Hospice, and Home Share Clare.

This year the event will take on a new route, wrapping itself around the airport – both landside and airside – ahead of a grandstand finish outside the airport terminal. Online entry for the event is open at the Shannon Airport Facebook or on .

With a four-year track record, the event has now doubled in size from its inaugural year, 2014, and this year will again involve a ‘Corporate Challenge’ as companies enter up to 10 staff, with times for the first five finishers accumulating in to an overall team prize for the fastest company. With interest in the event set to be high again this year, organisers are urging participants to book early.

“With such an emphasis on healthy activity, mass participation events are huge today but this one has particular appeal as it’s such a novel course and we are expecting great interest again this year. We are, therefore urging those who want to participate to book early and avoid disappointment,” said Shannon Airport Managing Director, Andrew Murphy.

“People just love the idea of running at an airport; it’s just so different to typical mass participation events. There’s also great excitement on the night as we have people arriving up to two hours beforehand to take in the build-up with ‘Mr Motivator’, Richie Clifford, leading the warm-up. At the end of it all it raises much needed funds for our designated Shannon Group charities, which this year are Cahercalla Community Hospital & Hospice, which provides hospice care for patients with active and progressive diseases, and Home Share Clare, a Brothers of Charity service that provides short respite breaks to adults and children with learning disabilities. So those who join us on the night do so for a very good cause.”

Scenes from last year’s runway run at Shannon

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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