Black Barn Airport Hangar

Demolition project background

The black barn was a 2,600m2 aircraft hanger, originally constructed in the 1930’s to house spitfire aircraft for the RAF. In the early 1940’s it became the base for the first division of British jet fighter planes; the Meteor.The black barn was constructed with a steel frame, steel trusses and timber purlins. The roof and wall cladding were generally corrugated tin sheets, however some of the cladding sheets were corrugated asbestos cement.The building was within an operational airport however no demolition works were carried out Airside. Access around the site was restricted due to the proximity of the airport apron and the A2190.


  • Liaising with the Main Contractor, DDS had to confirm isolation and termination to services in the building.
  • We were responsible for removing all non-notifiable asbestos based materials, and any other hazardous materials for disposal
  • Soft strip services, fixtures and fittings.
  • Demolish building to top of slab level.
  • Remove all rubbish, soft strip and demolition materials arising.
  • Dismantle and dispose of abandoned aeroplane fuselage situated in front of the hanger barn.

Achievements and Successes

  • Airport Management Happy at no flying object debris (FOD)
  • Health and Safety was of such a High Standard it was recorded, and used as an example when inducting demolition contractors working at Gatwick Airport.
  • 100% compliance with complex airport security procedures, despite added risks involved with airside access to site.
  • Project delivered on time, and to budget.
  • Initial contract was only for the demolition of the barn, the Fuselage was additional works added due to the high standard of work delivered.