Aerial of an air display



Second three-year contract for the Tattoo’s temporary trackways goes to TPA.

The world’s most prestigious air display, the UK’s Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), has awarded TPA a second three-year contract to supply portable roadways.

TPA has supplied the event, which is typically held over three days every summer at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, with heavy duty aluminium panels for several years now. These were complemented for the first time last year by anti-slip plastic TerraGuard pedestrian walkways.

The systems are usually installed about a month before the airshow to protect the ground from vehicle movements prior to the event and not just during it. They typically take the TPA site team three weeks to install and two weeks to recover.

They are delivered daily and laid, mostly single panel wide in areas including the grandstands, car park access lanes and off-site camp sites, to a schedule agreed in advance with the organisers, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.

Dan Pigot, Ground Operations Manager for RIAT, said: “The normal route we take with new suppliers is one to two years working together to make sure that both parties work well together and if successful, offer a three-year contract where negotiation on price and discounts is reflected by our joint commitment to each other.

“There is an enormous amount of trust that we have with the contractors we work with and an expectation that they are comfortable enough to get on with the job in hand and not be micro-managed. As this site is so vast, we benefit from contractors’ knowledge and experience. TPA have this and we work well together.”

He added: “We have built up a very good working relationship and TPA always manages our expectations.”

This year’s 47th Tattoo, from July 14-16, required a record number of TPA’s temporary roadway panels to cope with the atrocious weather conditions – the complete opposite of the scorching summer of 2022. The panels covered over 8.5km of temporary access roads in multiple locations, including around the grandstands, car park access lanes and three off-site camp sites.

Dan Pigot added: “The weather was so bad. It was horrendous. But the TPA team and products performed very well, and were professional and helpful as always.”