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The UK Roadgrip Airports team have navigated the weather and remote location of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, to carry out airfield grooving at the rural island airport.

Visiting the home of the world’s most famous whiskeys would ordinarily be a good thing but it was whiskey season in the Scottish holidays when our team arrived to groove the runway at this small but busy airport. With limited ferries and no accommodation available, coupled with wet and windy weather, the job came with a few challenging logistics issues.

It certainly required some ingenuity to transport out a low loader and two large grooving machines to the island. But, as a global airports division, we’re no strangers to mobilising bulky equipment to the far corners of the world.

Once on site, our team grooved a 4mm x 4mm x 25mm spaced pattern into the asphalt surface. Our specialist grooving machines utilised the onboard vacuum recovery to remove all arisings, leaving the newly grooved surface clear and ready for painting.

Heavy rain tried its hardest to hinder our work, but the team still delivered.

As the weather and photos allow us to demonstrate, the grooved parts of the runway are dry compared to the puddling on the ungrooved surface after rainfall. The grooves, which run transversely across the runway, encourage rainwater to drain from the surface and act rather like the tread on a tyre to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.

After the grooving operation, our team applied new runway markings to the runway to CAA standards, ready for air traffic to use again.

Well done to the team for achieving excellent quality, without delays, despite the logistical pressures.

To learn more about how we support airports around the world with grooving, rubber removal, friction testing, AGL, airfield marking, painting and more, visit Roadgrip Airports or contact us to discuss your project.


Interest in grooving? You’ll like this article: What is runway grooving and which approach is best?