A Custom Approach

Leeds Bradford Airport sees over 3.6 million passengers pass through its doors each year, but it still has major plans for growth. Their vision is to be an ‘outstanding regional airport, connecting Yorkshire with the world.’  

As part of their Strategic Development Plan – Route to 2030 major improvements to the 2,250 metre long runway were undertaken. As global leaders in fibreglass frangible structures Pollite were selected to replace all approach masts on both approaches (AP14 and AP32) 

As Britain’s highest airport it often sees winds of up to 100mph and is considered one of the most difficult airports to land in the UK. Perched on top of a hill the original aluminum approach masts were installed in the 1980s and no longer met current safety standards.  

Client requirements 

We worked with the airport to determine their requirements for the project and proposed a unique solution within their budget. In order to undertake the upgrade as cost efficiently as possible they wanted to continue to use the existing foundation bases for the masts but also ensure that the design and operational position of the masts was future proof (particularly on AP32). As expansion plans showed the possibility of a new public road cutting through the approach. 

The Solution 

Whilst AP 14 is a fairly conventional approach with light heights ranging between 4m and 11m. AP 32 provided an interesting design challenge for Pollite. Some of the positions were situated on elevated concrete platforms with limited access. Ensuring that the lights could be lowered and accessed by an engineer for servicing without the aid of an elevated platform allowed Pollite to showcase the flexibility and design capabilities of our engineers. 

All three Pollite masts types were used during the project; the standard monopole, the mid hinge and the cantilever for poles above 16m. The tallest pole provided was 19 m and the shortest 3 m.  

A few positions required the masts to be fixed transverse from the approach, whilst the cross arms were fixed linear to the approach in order for the lamps to remain accessible when lowered. Other masts due to their shear height and position presented their own unique challenges in terms of delivery onto site and installation. 

The added challenge beyond the bespoke elements of the design was the lead time and delivery schedule that needed to be met. The project that included a total of 60 masts, 12 cantilever towers and 13 mid-hinged masts was stage delivered over a 2 month window. 

The onsite installation was completed by Edward Dewhurst LTD with the assistance of Pollite when required. Dewhursts have competently installed Pollite masts throughout the UK and we were hugely grateful for their assistance in this complex project. 

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