How we adapted Newquay Airport to Air Force One

Andy Clarke, Director of Integrated Transportation

Andy Clarke, Director of Integrated Transportation | Costain

Everything went off without a hitch, but the logistics of bringing world leaders together in Cornwall for the G7 summit in June 2021 did not come about on their own, but with Costain’s expertise. Here’s how we made Newquay Airport fit for a president and Joe Biden’s arrival.

Just eight weeks before world heads of state were due in the UK for the G7 summit, Costain’s combined expertise in advising and delivering complex programs was called upon to ensure the arrival smooth ride from Air Force One and US President VVIP Passengers Joe Biden at Newquay Airport in Cornwall on June 11, 2021.

In partnership with the Cornwall Council, Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office and the Cabinet Office, Costain carried out operational planning and infrastructure upgrades at the airport to accommodate the famous US Air Force aircraft and others world leaders at the three-day summit.

Delegations from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, the Commission and the Council of the EU met also traveled to Newquay to discuss global issues at the event which brought many investments to the country and helped support the UK’s economic recovery.

Costain’s main role was to oversee major site improvement works, to initiate them, the team undertook the Civilian Design Review providing assurance on the design and assessing the risks to the program.

To speed up and ensure the program, the Costain team has developed a holistic schedule linking all infrastructure activities to operational and event requirements such as logistics planning, press management, security checks and accommodation. a 70-foot rocket from Virgin Orbit. This integrated plan was vital to the success of the operation and brought together multiple delivery partners.

Air Force One departs 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall

Close cooperation with the armed forces, the police and the airport was essential to the success of the operation. The Costain team coordinated tabletop simulation exercises to test flight logistics plans and supported security services with search areas and road closure plans.

Working alongside UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press team at number 10, Costain has helped identify the best locations for planes to park and unload with media around the world.

Delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges with several agencies, businesses and ministries involved in planning for G7 arrivals and departures. Effective communication was essential to ensure everyone was involved and informed to enable a positive outcome.

By working collaboratively and using their relationships and expertise, the integrated team was able to procure concrete during a national shortage, without which the construction of new aircraft parking stands and the rehabilitation of disused taxiways would not have been necessary. not been completed. The team also thought creatively and alongside building the previously agreed-upon runway, they also helped conceptualize and bring to life additional temporary boarding lounges, a new office and accommodation block, and facilities. shoulders of hydro-seeded grass, all within a very short time.

“A representative of the G7 Presidency Working Group in the Cabinet Office said:“ Project management, advice and delivery allowed us to focus on other sites in the lead up to the G7. Within two weeks of Costain joining the team, everything was under control at the airport, giving us confidence that the job would be done. “

The Costain team fully aligned the project with G7 operational requirements, which included ensuring the quality and on-time delivery of new drainage, installing new airfield lighting and borrowing 166 items. Ground Support Equipment (GSE).

“The G7 was a huge success, and it went off without incident, without incident. It wouldn’t have happened without Costain and the professionalism that the entire team demonstrated, ”said Nigel Blackler, Director of Infrastructure at Cornwall Council.

To learn more about Costain, see the following links:

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