Making Asphalt to Specification - the Story of an Old Runway

An event at Bomber Command with a presentation by Herbert Micallef

Bruce Spencer-Knott, East Midlands Branch Chair

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We were delighted to welcome Herbert Micallef to the International Bomber Command Centre on the evening of the 22nd April for his presentation capturing the resurfacing of the Malta International Runway he delivered last year.

The IBCC set aside their meeting room and restaurant specifically for the IAT, extending their opening hours also to suit our agenda and fed all attendees a wonderful supper of Lincolnshire Bangers and mash. All who attended managed to enjoy a quiet evenings stroll in wonderful spring temperatures around the monument to the fallen and reflective gardens / landscaping prior to the presentation.  

We had a super delegation attend from the local TMC provider (Balfour Beatty Living Places) and indeed also Lincolnshire County Council along with several members of the IAT.

To put the project into context the Malta International Airport receives direct flights from over 30 countries, takes circa 6.5M P.A people through its terminals, is responsible for over 97% of the tourist traffic and 10% of the employment of the island is within its gates.

The issues Herbert and his team faced were many and varied and synonymous with those to be expected on an island bereft of any form of local suitable quarried aggregate. Coupled alongside the issues facing the team with the raw materials were a lack of qualified people to carry out all tasks and indeed sufficient capability for the production of the asphalt. Herbert described in great detail how these issues manifested themselves and indeed how they were in turn circumnavigated through ingenuity and a reliance on relationships. The IAT clearly assisted in this respect as Herbert alluded to more than once with the strength of his relationships coming to the fore on more than one occasion borne through his membership of our institute.

Herbert delivered his presentation in a super enthusiastic manner in line with the very clear pride he should feel for the overseeing of the project. If anyone who hasn't had the chance to attend his delivery does get the opportunity in the future I would certainly recommend making the effort to so do so, I will certainly be attending as a repeat member!

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