Pattison, who started the job 18 months ago, said all his predecessors appear to have done is mow the grass.
He explained: "A lot of the equipment was also very tired and old so the first thing to do was to compile a wish list. The head groundsman at Salford City Stadium put me in touch with Campey's machinery dealer, who in turn advised me to speak with John Hughes at DLF with regard to the grass. Best piece of advice I've ever had - the advice and backup service that John has provided has been excellent."
Hughes advised that Pro Master 80, for rapid establishment and wear tolerance, would be the most suitable mixture for this unique requirement. They first tackled a taxiway, an area that was subjected to a lot of wear and tear, and made it into a test plot. Contractors Pugh Lewis started with a stone burier to churn up the ground before levelling, rolling and seeding. Pattison was nervous about the outcome but the seed germinated well and has turned into the best area in the whole airfield.
They next moved onto two areas of the extension runway, on which planes will actually land. As they have two runways parallel to each other, one had to be closed while the work was carried out. A whole runway is also expected to be sown next year.