BBA (Beton Bitumeux Aeronautique) Surfacing

BBA is a surface course material and a product of the research and development capability of the international Colas Group. Colas remain focused on efficient working and delivering greater value to clients and the use of asphalt produced to the French BBA specification achieves this..

Far greater rates of production are possible in a given time using BBA asphalt - which delivers great advantages to airport operators through resurfacing in limited runway possession periods between scheduled flights.

Other benefits for airport operators include greater pavement strength and durability. BBA asphalt can be laid at thicknesses 15% less than Marshall Asphalt while providing equivalent strength, and therefore uses less aggregate and exhibits greater sustainability.

Colas experience

The material was first specified and introduced to the airfields sector by Colas back in 2006, when Colas were contracted to supply a new asphalt runway surface at Sumburgh Airport in the Shetland Islands for Highland & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL).

Since then the material has rapidly gained recognition and acclaim as an enhanced and pioneering surface course material. The results on Sumburgh, reinforced by the positive Scott Wilson Pavement Engineering (SWPE) reports, impressed HIAL sufficiently for the operator to ask for BBA asphalt to be used for the resurfacing of Tiree Airport in the Inner Hebrides in 2007.


In 2008, as awareness of BBA asphalt was growing among UK authorities and their consultants, Colas were able to further extend the use of BBA asphalt on an Early Contractor Involvement project to reconstruct the main runway at Ronaldsway Airport on the Isle of Man, followed by the runway extension later in 2009. Colas in collaboration with their parent company Colas SA, also used BBA to resurface the existing runway at Jersey Airport.

In 2011 BBA was used ungrooved at London Southend Airport. Most recently un-grooved BBA was installed later in the year at Manchester Airport for their major runway 1 resurfacing project.

Learn more about where we have used BBA, view our project videos.