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Airfield Grooving


The global Roadgrip team has been grooving the runway on the beautiful Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius at F.D. Roosevelt airport. As you can see from the photos, our airfield maintenance crew were treated to an incredible backdrop with the dormant volcano Quill (Mount Mazinga) in the background.

The runway had never been grooved before, so this brought new technology to the island’s only aerodrome.

The benefits of airfield grooving

A grooved airfield drastically improves wet landing braking distance and reduces hydroplaning that can result from landings during and after heavy downpours. It is achieved by cutting horizontal grooves, transversely into the runway surface, which then allows the rainwater to drain away.

Airfield grooving specifications

We had transported our grooving machines to the island in advance of our team arriving to ensure the equipment would be ready to use when the project was ready to begin. We grooved the runway to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) specifications.

This specification is to cut 6mm wide by 6mm deep grooves at 38mm centres. We completed the job on programme, with minimum disruption to airport operations with the works taking place at night.

Social distancing

As we were working during Covid-19 restrictions, our machine operators worked to the island’s strict 5m social distancing requirements. They also had to remain in quarantine after returning home to the UK. A big thanks to our team for a great job and their sacrifices.


If you would like to know more about Roadgrip’s global airfield services including runway grooving,( FAA Specification, CAA specification and Trapezoidal Grooving), airfield painting and Trackjet XL rubber removal, take a look at our projects at Roadgrip Airports or contact us for a quick quote.