THE SOLID financial results which emerged this week from BAA underlined the continuing bright prospects for contractors in the air transport sector.
Thanks to low-cost airlines and growth in domestic and European air travel, passenger numbers at BAA airports rose almost 5 per cent in the nine months to December.
Far from cutting back its capital programme after September 11, the group says it is confident about medium and long-term growth and is continuing to build on a major scale.
BAA lifted its spending on UK airport infrastructure by 17 per cent to £479 million in the nine months as it progressed with extensions to Heathrow Terminals 1 and 3 and preparations for Terminal 5 - a major source of work for Amec and O'Rourke.
Indeed, Amec agreed a 10-year framework agreement last week to provide new infrastructure projects at BAA's seven UK airports which will be worth £700-800 million in total and £80-90 million over the next three years. The firm has also won contracts to provide building service and airfield pavements for Terminal 5.
A further surge in airport-related construction can be expected when the outcome of the Government's consultation on UK runway capacity finally emerges. The growth of Stansted - requiring a £75 million upgrade of the A120 between the airport and Colchester (see p42) - is already creating work for the construction industry.