Lec Airfield

Bognor Regis


The overall goal of the site was to produce a state of the art gliding facility, with a total of 3 grass runways and 1 tarmac runway. This would offer all year round gliding facility.

From the outset, the client wished to extend the existing tarmac runway with a grass extension. This would mean the airfield would have a runway of 850m. This was so important as gliders are usually launched using a tug winch. Grass runways are preferred in summer months, and tarmac is used for winter months.

For many years the airfield had become redundant, this leads to large areas becoming overgrown with shrubs, trees and vegetation.

AMS Contracting was approached by the new owner of the site to clear over 60% of the total area which had become overgrown and turned into scrubland.

When in operation Lec airfield was part of a large refrigeration factory. This was finally demolished following a fire. Large quantities of concrete, metal, roofing and refrigeration parts were found across the site. This had to be carefully extracted and recycled correctly.


Our Approach

Using tractor-mounted de-stoners and crushers meant works costs reduced significantly compared to that of using bulldozers to strip the topsoil off the entire site and using screeners to remove the contaminated material. The process took several months to complete but the final outcome produced a stone and debris free topsoil layer. This, in turn, saved the client a considerable amount of money which could be used elsewhere on the project.

Due to the site being a floodplain, there was an extensive network of ditches and rife’s. Several of these had to be piped in order to allow for enough space to install the desired grass runways. A water management and environmental impact assessment were carried out to ensure catchment characteristics were not changed and functioned as had previously. Once completed the site had over 600m of pipe installed, with inspection chambers and non-return valves.

Earthworks & Land Forming
Lec Airfield required substantial amounts of land forming and earthworks to achieve the desired levels to accommodate the new runways. Using our land forming software and machine-controlled grader, we were able to manipulate the levels of the site to direct water away from the tarmac runway and towards the rife which ran along the perimeter of the site. This area is now free-draining without the need for primary and secondary drainage and can be used for the majority of the year.

Specialist Operations
Tractor towed GPS controlled grader allowed us to survey, design and install without the need of engineers. AMS was able to manipulate levels and gradients at any point, as well as quantify cut and fill operations.

Grass Runway Construction
Installation of the runway extension involved reducing existing ground levels by over 2m in-depth and 20m wide. The clay material was installed in 300mm layers and compacted using a heavy-duty roller to create a sub-base layer sufficient to support the runway extension. To aid drainage, cross falls were used to move the surface water off the runway and towards the main drain.

Topsoil was spread evenly over the sub-base, cultivated, graded to level and seeded using a hard-wearing amenity grass.

To date, primary or secondary drainage has not been required due to the design and installation process.


The Final Result

  • 650 metres of resurfaced tarmac runway
  • 3 separate grass runways, with a combined meterage of over 1200m
  • Land formed free-draining parking areas for gliders and small aircraft.
  • Viewing platform
  • New access routes and parking areas.
  • Lec airfield is now a fully functioning gliding and light aircraft facility.


Working with AMS.

We are a friendly, professional and accommodating business which strives to achieve high quality results and customer satisfaction. We look forward to planning your project with you and look forward to the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss your requirements and provide our recommendations.

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