Colas Ltd Completes Ambitious Runway Reconstruction Project at Cork Airport

Company Colas Ltd
Date 23.11.2021

The main runway was official reopened by Micheál Martin, the Head of the Irish Government

  • The project was completed on schedule and within budget in just a 10-week period.
  • It was the fastest, large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years.
  • Flights will resume from Monday 22nd November.

An ambitious runway reconstruction project at Cork Airport has been completed on schedule and within budget by civil engineering and transport infrastructure specialists, Colas Ltd, this week. It was officially opened by Micheál Martin, the Head of the Irish Government, at a ceremony on the runway itself.

An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin TD, was joined by his cabinet members along with civic and business leaders to witness the result of the reconstruction work to this site, which is considered a key strategic asset for Cork and the South of Ireland for the next 20 years.

The project, which was the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years – 12 months from funding approval to the completion of the main works – was awarded to Colas, following an extensive EU tender process. It was supported by Government funding of €10 million from the Department of Transport, with the balance coming from Cork Airport’s parent company, DAA plc.

The airport made the brave decision to close completely to undertake the reconstruction works and enable the project to be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with fewer long-term impacts on airlines and passengers, versus the alternative of night time closures over a 10-month period.

Over 400 people were employed by Colas  and the multiple sub-contractors to ensure the work was completed on time. Of these, 250 construction and supply jobs were created specifically for the rebuilding of the main runway as well as for the work required to upgrade of the airport’s approach, airfield and ground lighting, runway edge and centreline lighting together with all its drainage and ducting systems.

The Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said: “Rebuilding and reopening the new runway at Cork Airport is a major milestone on the road to our recovery post COVID-19. Seeing the quality of the finished product today after 10 weeks of extensive works proves the decision to close since 13th September was the right one as the city and the wider region can now start to reap the benefits of this once in a generation project. I must acknowledge the significant investment by our parent company DAA and we are very grateful for the support of the Irish Government. I must also acknowledge the efforts of all my colleagues in Cork, the wider DAA infrastructure team and Colas Ltd who were responsible for main construction contract for the rebuilding of the runway. Together we delivered a great result for Cork and the South of Ireland region we serve.”

Gearoid Lohan, CEO of Colas Ireland, said: “Colas were proud to secure this contract with the DAA. The DAA and Cork Airport deserve great credit for taking the courageous decision to close the airport in order to deliver this major project. The ability of Colas to draw on skills and experience from around the Colas Group has been a key part of delivering within the condensed and challenging timescale. 

Carl Fergusson, CEO of Colas Ltd said: “The collaborative effort of all the teams, from the DAA and all the sub-contractors involved in this major time sensitive project has been significant, and an enormous contributing factor to its successful conclusion. Colas has been impressed by the team spirit experienced throughout, and proud to have been involved in this opportunity to deliver such a landmark large-scale reconstruction during a full runway shut down. 

Speaking at the ceremony held on the new runway, Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD, remarked: “It is my great privilege to officially reopen the newly reconstructed Cork Airport runway and mark the successful delivery of the 10-week reconstruction project. This project future-proofs a critically important strategic asset for Cork, the south-west region, and for Ireland for many years to come. The investment by the Government of €10 million in this project will ensure continued, essential, connectivity – connecting people and places, families and friends, economies and businesses; with enormous benefits for the city, the wider region and for the country.”


Colas Ltd
Cakemore Road
Rowley Regis
United Kingdom
B65 0QU
  • 0121 561 5561
  • +44 7881 818 140