Road - Heathrow Airport Tunnel

Heathrow Airport Tunnel Maintenance

Since January 2014 VVB Engineering has provided the planned and reactive maintenance of all mechanical, electrical and communication systems at Heathrow airport for its T4 cargo tunnel and the main access road tunnels into the airport Central Terminal Area (CTA).

Heathrow Tunnel Maintenance

Maintenance Works

This maintenance contract forms part of a larger refurbishment contract. The maintenance works comprise of the following aspects:

  • Regular asset management of safety critical and other operational systems which are integrated into the Heathrow Airport wide SCADA system.
  • Integration of all maintenance works onto Heathrow’s maintenance and asset management system Maximo.
  • Manage the works inline with 20+ client and stakeholder requirements and individual operational protocols.
  • Management of Tunnel MOR (Minimum operating requirement) throughout tunnel refurbishment.
  • Integration of new tunnel systems on a replacement basis with existing bringing tunnel up to BS78/99 standard.
  • Health and Safety was administered through several key principles.
  • Tunnel Minimum Standards maintained throughout period, ensuring all safety systems are fully operational at all times.
  • Segregation of workers / public from plant and vehicle movements at all times. Segregation of different maintenance activities from each other.
  • Activities to be undertaken within the tunnel environment were trialled in the mock up facility beforehand to ensure that the planned works were safe and that the operatives had a chance to practise the operations in a sanitised environment.
  • Training of Site personnel to a high safety standard – NEBOSH/SMSTS/SSSTS are a minimum requirement for our managers and supervisors.
  • Regular meetings with stakeholders to review ongoing safety measures.
  • Daily briefings for workforce including Start of Shift Briefings / Task Briefings and Tool Box Talks. Clear signage and planned TM routings for the public.

Maintenance Planning

Successful Planning is key to maintaining tunnels as busy and operationally restricted as the Heathrow tunnels and also minimising safety risks.

  • Integrated programme with tunnel refurbishment project.
  • Site coordination bubble diagram (each individual activity identified with area of works).
  • Weekly co-ordination meetings with other projects.
  • Priority allocation given to safety critical operations – agreement and buy in from all parties.
  • Communication with Stakeholders and public bodies is key to delivering a successful outcome.
  • Updates are presented to stakeholders on a monthly basis through reporting formats and dashboards.
  • Monthly stakeholder forums undertaken to present future works requirement and gain feedback.
  • Regular liaison with emergency services to ensure operational compliance on both sides.

Our maintenance teams have been involved in the development of new assets that replace existing infrastructure through the tunnel refurbishment project. by using their extensive knowledge of local operating procedures and industry standards they have contributed to developing the future job plans for Heathrow after the project finishes, streamlining various tasks into simplified job plans, enabling works to be carried out by location at one time, as opposed to numerous visits to one area.

We have reviewed costs on materials including refurbishment and reuse of parts, where feasible, from systems that have been made redundant, sourcing competitive alternatives where required and also systematically replacing parts on a planned basis to facilitate reduced future costs in maintaining infrastructure.

“VVB maintenance have demonstrated their willingness to maintain Heathrow’s assets to a high standard without having to spend additional time on top of their planned works.”
— Project Manager, Heathrow Airport Limited