Home » Projects » Geobear avoids costly delays at UK’s Heathrow Airport

Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports. There’s a constant stream of planes taking off, landing and taxiing to their gates. When the concrete slabs underneath these heavy metal birds get uneven (because of bad drainage and age), the birds can’t return to their nests. Replacing the slabs would force the airline gates to close. British Airways, for example, would lose around £500,000 a day in downtime. Slabs would be replaced one at a time. There would be a construction site, and each slab would cost £20,000. And sometimes the work wouldn’t even be effective. Previous repairs on Heathrow’s slabs didn’t last for long. The concrete was already cracking. So Geobear stepped in.


Firstly, Geobear made a plan: stabilise as many slabs as possible overnight so no gates would close and planes could take off next morning with no delays. Speed was a priority since closing all the gates would cost over £10 million per day. Working overnight to strengthen about 135 slabs, Geobear injected its geopolymer material beneath them. The geopolymer liquid solidifies underground, pushing out water, raising the slabs and making the ground stronger and safer.


Heathrow’s passengers didn’t see “Delayed” next to their flight numbers. No terminals or gates were closed. And because Geobear’s geopolymer works very quickly, passengers could board their aircraft in the morning as planned, and take off for their business meetings or holidays in the sun. With the gates staying open, over £145 million was saved. The Geobear solution was more than 75% cheaper than replacing the slabs. And unlike concrete, in nearly 40 years our materials have never failed.

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