The Royal Air Force’s Lossiemouth base in Scotland serves a critical role in mitigating a strategic defence gap for the UK.
To achieve this, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) enlisted Tetra Tech to plan, procure, and execute delivery of a £400m+ programme of infrastructure works that would re-introduce Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability and an additional Typhoon fighter squadron.
The inherent value of the Lossiemouth Development Programme (LDP) made successful delivery especially important. The introduction of P-8 Poseidon aircraft alone, for instance, would play a big role in protecting the UK’s nuclear deterrent and aircraft carriers, in addition to performing search-and-rescue and overland reconnaissance missions.
On such a strategically significant programme, complexity and big scope usually come with the territory. Delayed delivery schedules and rising costs posed very real risks, complicated by a remote and challenging working environment. And beyond logistical and technical problems, the interdependencies of all projects had to be accounted for as well, as did collaboration with a wide net of stakeholders.
As is our motto on large programmes, we have predicated our approach to project management on a holistic view, treating every component as a jigsaw piece that must fit into a cohesive whole.
For example, the programme has maximised the value of a new P-8 strategic facility housing aircraft through additional provision for engineering and training. Wherever possible, we reviewed provisions like runways, taxiways, and technical accommodations servicing aircraft to ensure they complement each other and the entire base’s functionality.
Taking this panoramic view has let us confidently advice DIO on which projects to prioritise budget-wise. It has set uniform goals for our team to converge on across all our service delivery, from project management to design, cost management, and masterplanning.
With numerous stakeholders, the programme has greatly benefitted from applying the collaborative working principles of ISO 44001. Indeed, this inspired us to establish a project management office as a central governance hub that has also nurtured productive working relationships between project leads and enabled quick resolutions to conflicts. Reporting tools developed by our team have further strengthened knowledge sharing with supervisors by providing regular, easy-to-digest and highly visual progress updates.
Even with COVID-19’s challenges, our team has adapted exceedingly well to delivering under remote working conditions, helped massively by having hand-picking a high-calibre local team with the right expertise for the job.
Following successful input and collaboration, the programme is on track to deliver nine projects within cost and budget.
“This programme represents a major investment that will turn RAF Lossiemouth into a modern and high-tech main base to meet an evolving set of challenges,” said Neil Malcolm, program manager for the Lossiemouth development.
”The LDP is unique in having had a permanent presence of so many high-calibre experts in one location. Every member on the team has gone above and beyond to help the client where required, and that visibility we’ve had on site has really been conducive to the programme’s success.”
The full list of completed projects will include:
- Redevelopment of the aircraft operating surfaces
- New single living accommodation for more than 2,000 personnel
- Squadron operations and engineering facility for the additional Typhoon squadron
- New air traffic control capability
- New fire station
- New gymnasium and sports facility
- Increased utilities and drainage across the airbase
- New washhangar for United States Navy (USN) P-8 Poseidon aircraft
- New single living accommodation for USN personnel on temporary duty