Ever since the concrete was laid in 1941 by airfield construction teams from Constain the runways here at Woodvale have received numerous repairs and upgrades. However, time and many thousands of aircraft movements had taken their toll. In February 2017 Runway 03/21 was taken out of use due to concerns over the deteriorating condition of its surface.
Following condition surveys and financial approval the contract for the resurfacing task was awarded to BDS, a Yorkshire company with experience in this specialist type of work. The company conducted their own survey in early January 2019 and began milling and resurfacing operations at a great pace on 21 January 2019.
Runway 08/26 had also received some attention and following completion of resurfacing works on 25 March 2019 and certification (friction testing etc) on 18/19 March 2019 it was returned to full operational use on 20 March 2019.
Flying resumed from Woodvale’s main runway (03/21) when Flight Lieutenant Andy MACKAY and Officer Cadet Alexander PIPE from Liverpool University Air Squadron took off in a Grob Tutor TMk1 (G-BYVI) for a short training sortie at 11:48 hours on Wednesday 20 March 2019.
The reopening of both Runway 03/21 (8 March 2019) and Runway 08/26 (20 March 2019) was preceded by a ‘FOD-Plod’ (Foreign Object Damage (FOD) search) conducted by large numbers of station personnel (including RAF, Civil Service and Contractor personnel) walking the length of each runway picking up any debris remaining from the resurfacing work.