The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has successfully completed a £6.96 million project to extend the lifespan of the runways and taxiways at the Mount Pleasant Complex airfield in the Falkland Islands, as announced by the organization.

The refurbishment project involved repainting runway and taxiway markings in reflective paint, replacing airfield signage with new compliant back-lit units, and coating the runway asphalt with a layer of bitumen. This protective layer is expected to extend the life of the treated surfaces until they can be fully re-laid in the coming years.

The project team worked at night to add the protective layer to the runway and liaised with MPC staff daily to avoid disruption. The work was planned to ensure no impact on airfield operations, and flights could continue as scheduled.

The project, awarded to Mitie in June 2022 and undertaken by sub-contractor Gatwick Construction, commenced at the end of January and was completed on schedule.

This was particularly important given that Mount Pleasant Complex is used for the airbridge flights to and from the UK, for LATAM flights connecting the Falkland Islands to South America, as well as by the Falkland Island Government Air Service (FIGAS), which connects MPC with the outlying islands of the Falklands.

Commenting on the successful completion of the project, Brian Talbot, managing director, Central Government & Defence, Mitie said: “The airfield is a critical piece of infrastructure on the RAF Mount Pleasant Complex, and we are proud of our work to refurbish the site’s runway, extending its lifespan for years to come. The prompt completion of this project is testament to our strong and long-standing partnership with DIO in the Falklands.”

The completion of this project is a testament to the project team, who worked to ensure the refurbishment work was completed with minimal disruption to airfield operations. The Falkland Islands can now look forward to many more years of safe air transport connections to the rest of the world.