Provision of UXO Engineer support at ex-MOD airfield

An ex-military airfield on the South Coast of England had been placed into private hands and large parts of the site were being redeveloped into a business park. During WWII, high explosive pipe bombs were placed under the runway to allow destruction in case of German invasion to deny the runway to the enemy. Although military bomb disposal units had previously removed these weapons, there remained some uncertainty as to how many may be left on-site. As with most ex-military airfields, the site was also assessed to be at risk from other items of ordnance.

Solution

After assessing the site and the developers proposed scope-of-work, Fellows international recommended that a non-intrusive survey be conducted on the site positions where shallow intrusive works were to be carried out.  Following the two-day site survey some of the results were inconclusive with high levels of metallic clutter being detected. After discussion with the client, the decision was made to maintain a UXO Engineer on-site while these areas were excavated.

Outcome

During the subsequent shallow intrusive works, some small arms ammunition was found and removed and the metallic clutter was found to be non-ordnance. As a result of some sensible and pragmatic UXO risk management work, the site was safely developed at minimal cost and with no time delay.

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