TPA Scores an Airshow Hat-trick

11 Nov

TPA wins a three-year contract with the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Supplying temporary roadways to an airshow can provide challenges that an access solutions supplier might not encounter on other sites and ensures the selection of the right supplier is critical.

Not only are the logistics immense, but should the supplier not get it right, the consequences for Health and Safety are extreme, particularly if the access solutions result in that dreaded aviation phrase FOD (Foreign Object Damage).

But having supplied to numerous public airshows in the company’s near 20 years of operating, TPA has won a three-year contract with the ultimate in public airshows – the Royal International Air Tattoo.

That contract kicked off this year with the supply of 3,100 heavy-duty aluminium Trax panels, providing over 7km of temporary access roads to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, ready for the airshow, which attracts 160,000 visitors, over the weekend of July 19th to 21st.

The 3m-wide panels took two TPA crews three weeks to install and two weeks to recover. They were used in multiple locations, including around the main grandstand, a disabled compound, pedestrian walkways, car park access lanes and three off-site camp sites.

They were delivered daily by artic and laid, mostly as 3m wide accesses, to the exacting schedule agreed in advance with the organisers, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises.

TPA business development representative Clive Boon said: “It was a challenging project logistically, being over such a large area and with multiple locations. It involved a lot of planning and meetings with the client to come up with a delivery and installation timetable that met their schedule.”

Paul Sayer, head of ground operations for the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, said TPA were invited to tender for the project based on their work at the RAF Waddington airshow in Lincolnshire in 2015 (140,000 visitors) and at the airshow at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire (home of the Red Arrows) in 2017 (50,000 visitors).

And they won it because their products were “fit for purpose” and an “acceptable price”. 

But that would seem not to be the only reason.

Paul added: “I get one chance a year to get it right and I have to trust the people I have contracted to do the work and the best way to get that trust is to develop a good professional relationship. If I get that over the six-week time period with a team who know their stuff it helps me do a good job.

“There were some moments along the way as this job has scores of different locations with different access challenges but the TPA team were all about doing a good job and you only get that if the team understands the bigger picture.”

And he said: “There is a big investment on both sides but TPA were determined, responsive and flexible.”