After prolonged opposition, Manchester Airport finally won approval to build a second runway on 15th January 1997. Environmental protesters took up residence in local woodland at about the same time that I was commissioned by the Airport to document the construction process.
From protesters in their camps to marking out the completed runway with white lines, I followed every aspect of the three-year project.
I photographed the relocation of amphibians, trees and grassland; the work of the ‘batmen’ creating new homes for thousands of bats, and the construction of a giant tunnel through which the River Bollin was diverted.
The marketing department at the airport had intended to publish the work as a book and, between us, we commissioned a writer and graphic design company. The book was to be called The Long Haul and was almost completed when the events of September 11th, 2001 diverted the airport’s attention. When we did discuss publication some months later it was thought that because the runway had been opened for over a year, the moment had passed.
So this project has never been exhibited nor published.