As a regional hub in the Irish Sea and one of the main gateways to the Island of Man, Ronaldsway Airport has seen increased traffic over the past decades totalling some 750,000 passengers on an annual basis. Currently servicing 54 destinations in nine countries, two major extensions and improvements of airport facilities have been executed since the turning of the millennium.
Due to its location and geography, the most recent runway extension in 2009 required the construction of a rock-armoured promontory to be built in the Irish Sea. As such, dredging and reclamation went hand in hand to accommodate larger runway and safety areas (RESA) and to provide the optimum runway length at the airport.
Dredging International supplied the suitable fill material for construction of the promontory works, which were needed for extension of the existing runway by 804 ft (245 m) to the current length of 5,751 ft. The supply was carried out by hydraulic filling within a bunded area, prepared by the main contractor Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering.
Early involvement of Dredging International was an important element, particularly in the optimized selection of an adequate borrow source area around the Irish Sea. The project was carried out using the jumbo trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Pearl River. Reclamation activities were managed by a selection of dry earthmoving equipment including Liebherr 734 dozers.