Bombardier hangar takes shape as roof goes up


Bombardier Biggin Hill

The core structural steelwork for Bombardier Aviation’s new 250,000 sq. ft hangar at London Biggin Hill Airport is complete, with construction of the cantilever roof beginning in earnest.

Dorset-based structural steel firm John Reid &Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) and design and build specialist Civils Contracting Ltd (Civils) are building the Bombardier service centre together, with products sourced from British Steel.

On completion, it will be the largest cantilever roofed hangar to be built in the UK for more than 50 years.

The complex cantilever design allows the roofs to safely span the hangar without support from any internal columns, creating a vast floor space capable of housing up to 14 Global 7500s jets at any one time.

John Harrison, senior technical manager at REIDsteel, said: “REIDsteel has strong history at London Biggin Hill, with more than half of the hangars currently standing built by the company.”

“This is the most technically challenging yet. With a 165m long central core supporting two 45m cantilever roofs, it is the UK’s second largest after a 46.5m cantilever hangar built at RAF Brize Norton in 1967.”

“As a modern hangar, the Bombardier building is designed to be incredibly robust against unforeseen events and has been thoroughly checked against our own full-scale testing. We worked closely with Civils and Bombardier to keep costs down and shape the structure to be as efficient as possible for manufacturing and design.”

As well as a state-of-the-art hangar, the development will also comprise of a workshop, and office space and 650,000 sq. ft of apron area and surrounds. It is due to be completed in 2022.

“We have had a fantastic relationship with Civils over the years and this project shows what can be achieved with a team all pulling in the same direction and with one vision.” added Harrison.