Britain's main Heathrow Airport said in a statement received by AFP on Friday that "the industry is aware" of the presence of this concrete in some facilities, and has "taken the necessary corrective action in the buildings" concerned.

"Like many other (companies), we have conducted an assessment of our real estate holdings and will continue to reduce risk wherever these materials are found."

The airport said it discovered this type of concrete last year at a site in Terminal 3, stressing that it had taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of passengers and staff.

Gatwick Airport also said it had recently surveyed its buildings to locate the concrete, reassuring that there was no risk "because it has taken the necessary measures to address this problem".

The airport said in a statement quoted by "AFP" on Friday: "We have a record of the respective sites within the airport, which are closely monitored through a regular system of full structural inspection."

"Our last inspection in June 2023 raised no concerns, and we will continue to conduct this regular monitoring," he added.

What caused the fuss?

  • This material raises concern in buildings with poor maintenance.
  • However, the risks of porous concrete are much lower at airports, as these facilities spend a lot of money on their maintenance, unlike in public buildings.
  • The Financial Times was the first to reveal the presence of this type of concrete at British airports.
  • Pressure on the British government has been mounting since last week, when it ordered dozens of schools not to open at the start of the new school year for fear of collapses from this type of concrete.
  • This technical problem is believed to be not limited to schools, but also includes a number of public buildings such as hospitals and courts.
  • This lightweight, low-cost concrete was widely used in construction work from the fifties until the mid-nineties, before it was found that it lost its hardness over time.