The 294 metre runway extension, plus a 150m starter extension, is the first phase of the £25 million (€30 million) development plans, which also includes a new terminal building.
Once completed, the extended runway will enable Boeing 737-type aircraft to fly with a full payload of passengers, maximising the availability of routes and aircraft choice to operators.
Capita, part of the design team for London’s Crossrail transport scheme, will be providing project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport, as well as civil and aviation design services.
Lydd Airport executive manager, Hani Mutlaq, says: “Capita has a wealth of experience in the highly specialised area of designing and building transport infrastructure, and was selected for this project partly on the basis of its recent work on the design of a similar runway extension at Southend Airport.”
The airport is now nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.
Lydd Airport hopes to invite contractors to tender for the runway construction project in late summer, and anticipate work will begin before the end of the year.
Airport managers will be flying to Dubai in May to showcase the airport’s development at two major travel and aviation events, where they expect a high level of interest.
Lydd Holdings, which owns and operates Lydd Airport, has already spent £35 million (€42 million) upgrading the airport over the last decade.
Lydd used to be one of the busiest airports in the UK, handling 223,000 passengers in 1958 – 37,000 more than Gatwick.
Once completed the new terminal will be capable of handling up to 500,000 passengers a year instead of the current 200,000.