Heathrow airport

Heathrow Airport Bravo Taxiway Extension

Careys were appointed for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the storm water drainage, pit and duct system and pavement upgrades at Heathrow Airport’s Bravo Taxiway, the inner taxiway of a twin system which leads to one of two main runways.


Heathrow Airport Ltd



Principal Contractor

Ferrovial Agroman

The critical location of Heathrow’s Bravo Taxiway required a high standard of operational awareness, in particular to potential foreign object damage and height restrictions created by the runway side slope.

Due to airport emergency response times, our team maintained a clearly marked emergency access route at all times, enabling emergency service access should an aircraft be occupying the outer taxiway.

The drainage system that we replaced and upgraded served the northern runway and therefore had to be maintained around the clock. We achieved this through detailed sequencing and planning to reduce risk, installing correctly sized over pumping when one of the multiple connection changes took place.

Live airfield electrical and communication services were mainly contained within pits and ducts, including the airfield ground lighting which was only periodically energised. Where no option was available other than to expose and work around the live services, we followed our own service protection process which was of a higher standard than the Heathrow Airport mandated requirement.

Nightshift working minimises disruption to crucial airside operations

As several of the manholes required for the project were located outside of the site perimeter, our team constructed these during limited possession night shift periods. These were located within the taxiway strip, requiring each manhole area to be brought back to ground level and protected to prevent accidental entry at the end of each shift.

One specific challenge successfully overcome by our team was the depth of the diverted 900mm and 1,050mm drainage, as the new pipes were fixed at each end and already relatively shallow. The diversion route added approximately 50m to the run, creating a flat system. The greater challenge was the structural integrity to accommodate a pavement designed for Code F aircraft. Our solution was to fully encase the pipes with reinforced concrete, as opposed to the traditional method of using plain concrete surrounds.

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