Bristol Airport has commenced the new £6.5 million development project to ease congestion in the departure lounge during peak hours and improve passenger experience.
The latest development includes the construction of the new central walkway, with four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. Connecting directly to the departure lounge, the new 3,880 square meter structure will be served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, and toilet facilities to ensure passenger comfort.
The new facility will be designed to accommodate the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, including the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, with provision for an additional airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future. All the departure gates will be within 105 metres of the main terminal. International construction services company, ISG, has been awarded the project, which should be completed by the summer of 2014.
Robert Sinclair, chief executive officer at Bristol Airport, said: ‘The construction of the central walkway is a demonstration of our ambition to be the airport of choice across the South West and South Wales. It will significantly enhance the airport experience for our passengers and sets the bar high for future development of the terminal.
‘Following a record-breaking summer we felt the time was right to make further investment in our passenger facilities. Not only will this new development deliver an improved airport experience for passengers and relieve congestion at peak times, it also demonstrates that Bristol Airport is committed to providing the best possible facilities for our airline partners.’
The central walkway forms part of a comprehensive development of the Airport and follows completion of a western walkway in 2010. The airport has also completed a second immigration point, additional security search channels and three new aircraft stands, featuring fixed electrical ground power, all of which opened in the summer of 2012.
Overall planning approval is in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum, which includes extensions to the terminal, a public transport interchange, multi-storey car park and an on-site hotel.
Handling 5.9 million passengers in 2012, Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest in the UK. In August 2013, the Airport recorded the busiest month in its history, handling over 700,000 passengers.