Benbecula Airport runway is typical of various World War II developments along the west coast of Scotland, where erosion of the beaches posed a threat to the airport.
The project involved solving the erosion of the airport grounds which threatened its operational capability. A feasibility report set out the results of investigations, with extensive wave modelling and wind assessments undertaken to determine what was required.
Works included movement of large volumes of sand to establish a new coastline. In order to prevent erosion, mesh baskets were installed and filled with stone by machine and finished by hand to achieve a tidy finish.
Challenges posed by the project included working within a hostile environment against tides and weather – requiring innovative thinking and teamwork. Through a proactive approach the team achieved an environmentally sustainable, aesthetic solution, on time and in budget.
- Development of innovative solutions including mixing seaweed into the sand which helped considerably in establishing regrowth of machair.
- Learning from previous experience by others and the Phase 1 works to achieve improvements in Phase 2.
- Excellent teamwork and co-operation.
- Ability to adapt to changing conditions and problems.
- Delivery on time and budget.
Client: Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd