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Aberdeen Airport runway extension opening

18/03/2011

It has become one of the North-East best kept secrets. Almost eight months ahead of schedule Aberdeen Airport runway extension has today been officially opened.

Guests watched while an aircraft taxied onto the new stretch of tarmac, through an impressive water-arch, to mark the 124 metre extension open.

Teams have been working tirelessly every night since March on the £10 million extension, a vital piece of local infrastructure.

Derek Provan, the airport Managing Director said: “Today represents a milestone, not just for the airport but for the wider North-east of Scotland. It is a major investment in securing the services our passengers want going forward, and investment in the success and growth of the region. Between this and our projected capital spend of around 60 million over the next 10 years, we have proven beyond doubt our commitment to this region and the people who rely upon our services.

"I specifically want to extend my thanks to the project teams, at all levels, who have been working tirelessly on this major piece of regional local infrastructure. We would not have got to this point today without an incredible amount of work and dedication and for that I am extremely grateful".

Ignacio Gastón is the Ferrovial Agroman GB Construction Director. He said “ Throughout the project we have worked with our client the airport to minimise risk and maximise efficiency and to ensure the success of this critical and complex project. The fact that we have completed the runway extension a full 8 months ahead of schedule, on budget, and with zero operational impact on the airport demonstrates the extent of this success and bears great testament to the excellent relationship between Ferrovial Agroman and our client.

Brian Adam MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Chief Whip, welcomed the opening: "Today is a significant landmark in the continued evolution of Aberdeen Airport. The airport is a catalyst for economic growth linking key centres of economic activity - vitally important for Scotland’s competitiveness.

"The runway extension serves to underline the strength of the airport’s ambitions including opening up more opportunities to attract new airlines and new routes, and doing so against the not insignificant challenge of delivering the project within budget and eight months ahead of schedule."

ACSEF development manager Rita Stephen said: “This is a considerable achievement for Aberdeen Airport and all those involved in developing the runway extension which is crucial to improving connectivity in the region. Aberdeen Airport contributes significantly to the Scottish economy – generating around £114million of gross value added (GVA) annually for Aberdeen City and Shire alone - and attracting increasing passenger numbers. The extended runway is therefore anticipated to create further substantial growth over the next 30 years and should also act as a catalyst for progress on other infrastructure projects such as the AWPR.”

Bob Collier, Chief Executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce said “Congratulations to everyone involved in this project for bringing it in, so far ahead of schedule. It’s fantastic news for the North-east because it means that the airport and everyone who uses it will be able to reap the benefits of the new extension far earlier than was expected. Aberdeen Airport has to be commended for its commitment to fund this major piece of transport infrastructure. It opens the doors to significant opportunities for developing new routes from Aberdeen and we know the team at the airport has been working on this for some time. If only public infrastructure expenditure always proceeded as crisply as this on-time, on-budget project.”

Derick Murray, the director of transport body NESTRANS said: “This is excellent news for the North East of Scotland. At a time when access to the UK's hub airport at Heathrow is coming under pressure it is essential that our local airport maximises the potential to have direct flights to as many destinations as are required. This is another example of the North East helping itself to achieve the bright future we are trying to achieve. I congratulate all involved in the runway extension's construction and early completion."

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, which represents and promotes the interests of airports throughout the UK, said: "It’s tremendously impressive that Aberdeen Airport has completed its runway extension eight months ahead of schedule and to budget too. The UK needs world-class airport infrastructure if it is to compete internationally and create jobs and growth throughout the country in what we all know are tough economic times. This type of development is not only good for Aberdeen Airport and Scotland but will also help make the UK’s connectivity that much stronger too – congratulations!"

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