“It is critical to get main runway open in time every Friday to maintain the Island’s key supply lines. The runway had to remain operable for military use all week. A squadron of RAF Typhoons is based here and the phasing of our work has been calculated to allow take off within 15 minutes’ notice. Five years later the runway remains crack free.”
Simon Downing,
Airfields Business Manager, Colas

A massive project that took place 8,000 miles away on the Falkland Islands. It was the refurbishment of the airfield at Mount Pleasant Airport. The Asphalt Reinforcement Services team of experts carried it out with military precision using GlasGrid® 8501 ensuring everything went smoothly.

CLIENT: Defence Estates
SITE: RAF Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands
CONTRACTOR: Colas / Mott MacDonald
QUANTITY: 13,800m2
PRODUCT: GlasGrid® GG100
DATE: 2010/2011


Key Benefits

Efficiency  – Refurbishment and resurfacing work completed while maintaining a fully functional airfield

Logistics – Organising and completing work 8000 miles from the UK using 2 mobile asphalt plants

Longevity – Using patented technology to produce a robust and long lasting result

Cost – Reducing the need for reactive maintenance and further closure of the runways

Reliability – A runway that could handle the elements and keep people connected

Collaboration – Ensuring the right people and tools for the right job


In 2010, Asphalt Reinforcement Services were called up for service, when Defence Estates awarded Colas’ Airfield Division a multi-million pound project to refurbish the airfield at Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falklands Islands. This airport is the only joint military and civilian airfield on British soil.


It was a challenging logistical operation. Asphalt Reinforcement Services was involved in the resurfacing of both of Mount Pleasant’s 2.4km runways before moving on to the refurbishment of all the asphalt surfaces using specialist surface treatments. These included the runways, taxiways, links and loops and much of the work was carried out at night, under very extreme weather conditions.

Significant resources and logistics were required to complete the project, which is incidentally 8,000 miles from the UK. This included two mobile asphalt plants along with reinforcements that came from Colas’ own Warrington plant, which supplied the entire bitumen and bond coat required for the project. Over 12,000 drums of binder were filled and transported.


The refurbishments and resurfacing work were completed whilst maintaining a fully functioning airfield and active military operations. The project, which ran from Autumn 2010 to early 2011, was the first major refurbishment of the airfield since it was constructed in 1985 and was planned to coincide with summer in the southern hemisphere and the 25th anniversary events to commemorate the Falklands war.

GlasGrid® GG100

Tensile Strength 115 x 115 +/- 15 kN/m

Melting Point Coating >232° C

Melting Point Glass >820° C

Grid Size 12.5 x 12.5 mm

Mass per Unit Area 405 g/m²

Roll Length 100 m

Roll Width 1.5 m

The Journey

Start  – The mission – the airfield at RAF Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands

First step – Planning the first major refurbishment in 30 years

Hit the road – Resurfacing both runways and surrounding Taxi-ways and links.

Moving forward – Using GlasGrid® 8501 for a robust long-lasting finish

Staying on track – Working efficiently to maintain a fully operational airport

Finish – A runway that handled the elements, whilst providing a safe vital link to the outside world