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Size Isn’t Everything!

Occasionally a chance will present itself in business to take what you know about your products and re-engineer critical features to solve a problem that is outside the performance envelope of what you have as standard. These are the challenges we accept at IAC in Engineering and in our business model to satisfy our customers’ needs, whatever the size of the project.

Contacted by an independent customer in Asia, IAC were required to find a solution to the extremely turbulent airflow at the end of a runway generated during take-off by medium sized turboprop aircraft. The proximity of a road at the end of the runway being the driving force behind the need for a barrier which would be high enough to provide the required coverage and protection, but was low enough not to infringe the flightpath of landing aircraft.

The location at the end of the runway could not be altered as the airport boundary was only a few meters further back, this limited the proposed height of the barrier to just 2.8m. Additionally, safety requirements for approaching aircraft dictated that the whole of the vertical mesh barrier (VMB) structure was ‘frangible’ so that it would break into pieces if an impact force is applied. Higher wind speeds and aircraft applying power much closer to the barrier than was normal also required consideration within the design.

Working with IAC was a great experience and the performance of their product in such challenging application is nothing short of remarkable. I firmly believe that IAC could produce a solution to any airport barrier requirement and would recommend them without hesitation to any prospective buyer!


The final challenge was to complete the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of the barrier in an extremely short time frame. Ordinarily this would be no problem with a standard product and our global network of companies, but this barrier was unique in what it was required to do and the logistics necessary to make it happen. Our experience allowed us to design the foundations for others to construct, Have the main structural parts manufactured in our facility in China and have specialist components supplied from the UK and Europe, with all parts arriving at the site within days of each other.

Installation, which was by necessity scheduled around aircraft movements at the airport meant that that our team were required to install the barrier during night shutdown periods at the airport, with each ‘day’ of installation work completed to a level that allowed operations to continue unrestricted the following morning. Successful completion of the installation was accomplished by our expert team to the satisfaction of our client in spite of the many logistical challenges and site working restrictions leaving only the statutory functional checks to be undertaken.

Given the natural dense foliage at the site this was amply demonstrated as standard operations were filmed before and after the installation. Videos of the remarkable transformation can be seen on the IAC website where you can also read an extended article on the technical aspects of this project

IAC now move on to the next challenge somewhere in the world. If it is worth doing, it’s worth doing with IAC. Get in touch and let us help you find a solution to your requirements

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