Runway Resurfacing Completed, Airport to Reopen on Schedule

Photo Credit: Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Ltd and Programme Management Office

The Runway Resurfacing Project has been completed and the John A. Osborne Airport will reopen to the usual fixed-wing aircraft flight operations as scheduled on Thursday April 22, at 7AM.

The paving of the taxiway and runway was a key regulatory requirement by Air Safety Support International (ASSI); and was completed in excellent time by the main contractor— Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Ltd (St Kitts and Nevis), supported by the technical and oversight team from the Canadian based airport consultancy, Avia NG Inc, as well as local contractors and supply chain.

The airport was closed on April 11th 2021 to facilitate the works, which included the completion of an asphalt test-strip, the milling of the existing surface, the laying and joining of the new asphalt, as well as the installation of new inset lighting and the application of line markings. Based on all quality control and assurance testing results undertaken to date, the asphalt pavements have been judged as acceptable against the specification.

Minister of Communications, Works, Labour & Energy, Dr. Samuel Joseph said, “After many months of behind-the-scenes planning, design and project development, I am proud to announce that Montserrat’s Runway Resurfacing Project has been completed successfully, on budget, on schedule and to the required quality. The Project team led by MCWLE, supported by the Airport staff, the PMO, AVIA NG consultancy, and of course the main contractor Surrey Paving and Aggregates, should be commended in overcoming significant obstacles and risks to make this happen during COVID19 restrictions. With this new and improved runway surface, we have satisfied a key regulatory requirement, so that we can keep Montserrat’s skies open now and in the future, and provide confidence to prospective visitors to our shores.”

The final stage of the project will take place next month, with the grooving of the runway surface and painting of the final line markings. This work will not require closure of the airport, and can only take place from  approximately one month after the completion of the resurfacing itself.

Governor Andrew Pearce stated “Completion of the airport runway re-surfacing is a further demonstration of the UK’ long-standing commitment to supporting Montserrat’s development. After delivering the fibre-optic broadband connection to Montserrat, the runway resurfacing is the second completed aspect of the UK funded Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG) that has been effectively delivered by the Government of Montserrat. Work continues to build a new airport control tower which will further enhance the safety of the transport connection to the island. This is a great example of UK Aid repairing and enhancing key infrastructure and supporting sustainable economic development even through the challenging environment of the Coronavirus outbreak.”

Photo Credit: Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Ltd and Programme Management Office

Airport Manager, Joseph Irish, commended the team for successfully completing the project within the scheduled time to allow for the planned reopening tomorrow morning.
“A routine walk through of the runway was done twice yesterday (Tuesday) to check the surface. From the appearance of the runway surface, we think the Surrey Team did a very good job. On behalf of the John A. Osborne Airport, we want to say thank you to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and Government of Montserrat for providing the necessary funds. We also wish to thank the people of Montserrat for their understanding and patience during the runway closure. Gratitude is also extended to the Surrey Paving Team and consultants Avia NG for their professionalism in completing the project within the scheduled timeframe,” expressed Irish.
The closure of the John A. Osborne Airport Runway saw a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy (MCWEL); the Ministry of Health & Social Services (MoHSS), for supporting the access and quarantine/health protocols of contractors/non-resident technicians; and the Programme Management Office (PMO) for the successful completion of the project.
Head of the Programme Management Office, Martin Parlett remarked, “Montserrat may be a small island, but it continues to demonstrate that it has the capability to deliver big things, on schedule and within budget – despite the prevailing uncertainties and logistical challenges of our time. The Programme Management Office has been proud to support the MCWLE team in executing these works, and ensuring dynamic risk management and agile
stakeholder engagement. This project demonstrates that the model of local project management, augmented with specialist technical support for complex projects, delivers – whilst building institutional capacity and confidence in our ability to provide return on investment.”
This marks the completion of the second major project within the Capital Infrastructure Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG), within the scheduled period and budget envelope. Other ongoing projects include the completion of the Air Traffic Control Tower, the detailed design and construction of Montserrat’s new national hospital, continued rehabilitation projects at the Montserrat Secondary School, the installation of a new hot mix plant, and the development of social housing designs.
The subsea fibre optic project was completed successfully in 2020, and has now transitioned to the operations and maintenance phase. Broader benefits from the fibre optic capability are also being explored.