St Athan Civilian Airport


In order to obtain Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval for St Athan airfield’s transition from military to civilian rules, Welsh Government engaged the multi-disciplinary services of Burroughs. Burroughs acted as Civil Engineer and Project Manager on a number of projects integral to the airfield’s transition.

One such project was the delethalisation of the 1.8km runway. Delethalisation is the below ground ramping to buried vertical face of construction designed to reduce risk of damage to aircraft running on cleared and graded area of the runway strip. Welsh Government commissioned Burroughs to produce a report comprising the findings of the hazard identification process and outlining recommendation for delethalisation in accordance with the CAA regulatory requirement (CAP18 of the CAA’s Licensing of Aerodromes document). Based on the recommendations of the report, client Welsh Government engaged Burroughs to provide design solutions for all categorised hazards, procure a contractor for the works and project manage the scheme.

The project was successfully completed in March 2019. Burroughs’ Project Management team, Civil Engineer and Supervisor worked closely with the client, Air Traffic Control and appointed contractor Alun Griffiths to overcome the constraints of working within an active airfield. The delethalisation of hazards was split geographically into four work packages. A combination of the operation of a reduced length runway and work undertaken outside of the airfield’s operational hours meant that the airfield remained open throughout the project programme.

The success of the project in meeting strict programme constraints (the airfield’s military to civilian rules transition) in a potentially hazardous environment is a testament to the collaboration of the entire project team. Following completion of this, along with several similar schemes such as an airside perimeter fence, Burroughs supported St Athan Airfield’s transition to Civilian rules on 1st April 2019.

Client / Project TEam

Welsh Government / Cardiff Airport / Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd