DIO plans £35m upgrade at RAF Waddington

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DIO plans £35m upgrade at RAF Waddington

The airport runway at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire is set to get a £35.4m upgrade.

The rebuilding and extension of RAF Waddington’s runway will be the first major upgrade work carried out at the airfield since the 1960s.

It will be the first project to be tendered through the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO) next generation estates contracts national capital works framework.

Alongside airfield design improvements, the work will help the base to continue to provide surveillance and reconnaissance in support of military operations. RAF Waddington uses various airborne intelligence systems, including the E-3D Sentry and Sentinel R1 as well as the Boeing RC-135V/W Rivet Joint intelligence aircraft, which is the latest addition to the ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) fleet.

DIO project manager Dan Willmott said: “DIO’s priority is to support our armed forces as they prepare for operations. This is the first major piece of work tendered through our new capital works programme. The upgrade will deliver state-of-the-art airfield infrastructure and house a brand new ISTAR capability.”

RAF Waddington’s station commander, Group Captain Rich Barrow, said: “The existing 9,000-foot-long runway has reached the end of its lifespan. For RAF Waddington to continue to deliver on its mission to generate world class expeditionary surveillance and intelligence capabilities, the runway infrastructure must be modified to support our aircraft, and our highly qualified pilots and ground staff.”

This project will use recycling practices first adopted by the DIO during the rebuild of the southern taxiway at RAF Marham in Norfolk three years ago. Some 100,000 tonnes of materials will be excavated and recycled on site.

The waste materials will be recycled as hard core and reused on site to extend the existing perimeter track, which will further enhance airfield safety.

Work on upgrading the runway starts in July and is expected to be completed by late summer 2015. During the rebuild period the station’s aircraft will temporarily relocate to alternative operating bases across the country.

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