HIAL completes £5 million upgrade to runways at Islay Airport

A £5 million project by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) to resurface both runways at Islay Airport has been completed following four months of work.

The runways were last resurfaced in 2002 and had begun to see significant deterioration over the last two years. 

The upgrade started in June with the removal of a depth of 50mm of asphalt from the existing runway surfaces.  This produced around 10,000 tonnes of waste asphalt, which was recycled by donating it to Argyll and Bute Council to reuse on their roads network.

The next step was to replace the top layer of both runways.  This required careful planning to overcome the logistical challenge of getting 8,000 tonnes of new asphalt along with the significant machinery required for the project shipped over to Islay.  This new top layer means that a completely level and durable surface is now in place for both runways.  In addition, new guidance lighting units have also been added to the taxiway.

Islay Airport manager, Niall Colthart, said: “We are really pleased that this project has been completed with minimal disruption to airport operations.  

“I would like to thank all those involved in making this happen, and our local airport team for maintaining our high level of service throughout.  

“I would also like to thank the local community for their patience while we completed the resurfacing works.”

Kevin O’Leary, HIAL Chief Operating Officer, said: “With Islay Airport servicing scheduled flights to and from Glasgow on a daily basis, as well as the charter flights using the airport, it was vital that we undertook these essential works to ensure the longevity of the runway.

“The completion of this project ensures future air connectivity for the community of Islay.”

Published: 16th November 2023