A multi million pound project to resurface Scotland's busiest airport runway has been completed on budget, and ahead of schedule.
Work to upgrade Edinburgh Airport's runway, which handles 115,000 flights a year, began in April this year, at a cost of £16 million. The project was due for completion on 31st November, but the new look runway is already operational.
The ambitious resurfacing project was carried out in night time phases, with flights using the airport's secondary runway while work on the main runway was being carried out.
The eight month project involved workers laying 25,000 tonnes of asphalt and replacing over 1,000 runway lights, and will renew the life of the runway for a further fifteen years. The runway was last resurfaced in 1991.
Airport Managing Director Gordon Dewar said: "This has been a complex and challenging project, involving a number of organisations and many hundreds of airport workers. I am delighted that, working together, we have completed the resurfacing work on time, and on budget."
The switch to the secondary runway resulted in night time flights operating over areas not normally subject to aircraft noise, including part of South and West Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian.
"We are grateful to residents in those areas for their patience and goodwill over the past eight months. We have made every effort to minimise disruption to local communities by completing this project as quickly as possible and keeping affected people informed about the progress of the works." said Mr Dewar.
Meanwhile, work is about to get underway on a £40 million project to extend Edinburgh Airport's departure lounge, as part of BAA Edinburgh's plan to invest £250 million over the next decade.
Mr Dewar added: "The runway resurfacing project is key to BAA Edinburgh's future development plans. With this major investment now complete, Edinburgh Airport can look forward to a great future as one of Europe's leading regional airports.
"The launch earlier this month of a new Ryanair base at Edinburgh, the continuing growth of international traffic, and the forthcoming investment in our departure lounge, augers well for the future. Despite these challenging times, I am confident that Edinburgh Airport will continue to make a significant, and growing, contribution to the economic success of Edinburgh and the east of Scotland."
Edinburgh Airport is Scotland's busiest airport with nine million passengers, flying to around 110 destinations worldwideInternational traffic has increased by 11.5% in the past yearMore than 25 new domestic and international services have been added from Edinburgh this year, including new flights to New York, Berlin, Bratislava, Stockholm, Frankfurt and Nice.