London Stansted Airport in the UK has started work on the maintenance of its runway during the mornings.

The engineering team of the airport started the work while aircraft is grounded amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 3,048m-long runway is resurfaced once every ten to 15 years, along with regular heavy maintenance twice a year during weekend nights to ensure no flight disturbance.

The airport is currently operating with a reduced number of commercial flights and cargo operations. Due to this, the engineering and airfield operational teams have closed the runway for a part of the day.

Specialist contractors can access the runway safely during the morning to carry out technical work.

The teams started the work from 14 April and will continue until 24 April.

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The runway maintenance project is delivered by Marriott Civils and managed by Stansted Airport’s engineering maintenance team.

The team consists of around 200 contractors and engineers, along with 100 vehicles and machinery to lay 1,000t of asphalt.

In addition, 3,600 airfield lights will be replaced with energy efficient, high-performance LED lamps that aid in safe aircraft operations during low visibility conditions. The LED lamps help in reducing power output by approximately 70%.

London Stansted Airport Asset Maintenance Services director Kathy Morrisey said: “We all recognise this is an extremely difficult and challenging time for the whole country, and here at the airport it is no different following the dramatic and unprecedented reduction in flights.

“The situation has however given us the unique opportunity to access the runway during the day when usually we would have hundreds of aircraft landing or taking off.

“This means that rather than a maximum of three and a half hours a night over the weekend, the team will have up to six hours each weekday to complete complex maintenance work without the same time pressures and challenges of working overnight.”

Earlier this month, London Stansted Airport opened a drive-in coronavirus testing centre for frontline National Health Service (NHS) workers.