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East Midlands Airport to close its runway at weekends in November and December

Posted On 1st/Sep/2016 By sophie

East Midlands Airport will close its runway every weekend for nearly two months as major repairs are made.

The airport will be out of operation every weekend from November 5 to December 19 as its refurbished – the last time it was done was 17 years ago.

The refurbishment will be completed over seven consecutive weekends, meaning the airport will be closed to all traffic for 48 hours each weekend. The closure will begin at 8pm on each Saturday and end at 8pm on each Monday, except the final weekend, which will end at 1pm.

East Midlands Airport has referred to it as “a UK first for airport runway refurbishment projects”.

The project will involve around 360 workers every weekend laying 50,000 tonnes of specially formulated material across 150,000m2 in total.

Whilst the runway is not operational, the airport is also replacing over 1200 lights on and around the area with LED lighting.

The airport’s runway was last refurbished in 1999, and has a natural lifespan of around 12-17 years.

Andy Cliffe Managing Director East Midlands Airport said: “After an in depth consultation with our airlines and cargo operators, we came to the decision that completing the project in this way was the best way to avoid major disruption in the lead up to Christmas.

“The timing for us is crucial and we had to look to do this in the winter season, when we naturally aren’t as busy.”

The airport, which flew more than half a million people last month said the planned works have been in the pipeline for a number of months and it has been working with airlines to organise the redevelopment.

Flights have not been offered by airlines during the course of the refurbishment – the November-December travel period was picked intentionally to avoid disruption, according to an airport spokesman.

The spokesman would not confirm how much the refurbishment works would cost.

Flights that would have been scheduled during the weekends have been moved into the week while operational.

The works are not expected to cause any major disruption but some private flights and flying schools will be non-operational during the work.