British Royal Air Force (RAF) Northolt runway has been closed for six months to enable Irish firm Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure to commence resurfacing works.

In October 2018, the company won a £23m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) for resurfacing work at RAF Northolt, the last remaining military airfield within the M25 area.

Lagan Aviation will upgrade the existing runway, improve drainage and install arrestor beds to improve safety and extend the life of the runway by at least 15 years.

Operations at RAF Northolt include transport for UK military and government leaders, medical evacuations, and support to global exercises and operations.

RAF Northolt often receives aircraft from the Fleet Air Arm, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force fleets, ranging from helicopters to the larger A400 and C17 transport aircraft.

Helicopter operations will continue at the airport, while fixed-wing operations will be suspended for the resurfacing period and will operate from other airfields.

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“The Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure team have been busy mobilising on-site this past few weeks preparing for project commencement.”

The resident flying squadron, 32 (The Royal) Squadron will operate aircraft from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Operations and civil flights movement at the airport will resume after completion of the resurfacing works.

RAF Northolt, the RAF’s strategic site in London, is home to 33 other units from all three armed services and wider government, including the British Forces Post Office, two RAF bands, the MOD’s Aeronautical Information Documents Unit and ceremonial unit The Queen’s Colour Squadron.

The outputs of these other units will not be affected by the runway resurfacing work.

Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure director James Aikman said: “The Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure team have been busy mobilising on-site this past few weeks preparing for project commencement.

“The project team are looking forward to commencing works on site and continuing our collaborative relationship with the DIO to ensure the project is delivered safely, on time and within budget.”