The 197ft (60m)-tall shaft of Manchester Airport’s new air traffic control (ATC) tower has been completed, just nine days after construction began.
A team from principal contractor Morgan Sindall poured concrete continuously for 222 hours – a technique known as ‘slipform’ – between March 13 and 22, with the shaft increasing in height at an average rate of around 10.6in (27cm) an hour.
Teams of 20 construction operatives worked around the clock on an elevated hydraulic platform surrounding the shaft, inserting reinforcing steel rods into the concrete and ‘polishing’ the structure as it grew. Around 21,189 cu feet (600m3) of concrete and 65 tons of steel reinforcement have been cast to form the 29.5ft (9m)-wide shaft, located in the centre of the airfield.
Due to be completed in spring 2013, the new tower is pre-let to air traffic control company NATS. The facility will contain an approach radar section and navigation, surveillance and communication equipment, as well as new offices and an equipment centre in its base.
Jim Morgan, Area Director for Morgan Sindall’s Manchester office, said: “We are delighted to have reached such a significant stage in the development at Manchester Airport. The slipform process is an innovative procedure, which has allowed us to create a robust and resilient tower in a relatively short period of time. This is an exciting project to be a part of and we are enjoying working closely with Manchester Airports Group’s in-house team as well as architects, CPMG, and engineers, URS Scott Wilson.”