Birmingham Airport announces experience improvement programme

Birmingham Airport has said that it has commenced a multi-million-pound programme of development works to improve the passenger journey through the airport terminal.

The development works include revamping the security processing area to provide more boarding card gates, a dedicated security preparation area and a refreshed waiting area with new flooring and lighting. Additional staff are also being recruited in key customer facing areas, including terminal operations, customer relations and security officers.

Commenting on the plan, David Winstanley, COO for Birmingham Airport, said, ‘This investment comes following record passenger growth and to ensure that we’re prepared for the coming summer period where the airport will welcome new long-haul services to New York, Boston and Toronto, as well as many new popular short haul destinations.

‘The service we give our customers is an absolute priority for us so we’re investing a great deal to improve the airport journey for them.’

The Airport is also expanding its retail and catering offer. It has recently opened The Factory restaurant as well as added Kurt Geiger to its airside shopping experience. In spring, a new Bottega prosecco bar will open as well as wrapchic – an Indian inspired burrito and sandwich outlet.

Further, the Airport is building a covered walkway to the terminal from the free drop off car park, and a new 178-guestroom Hilton Garden Inn hotel will open in the summer. New digital wayfinding and signage will also be introduced before the summer season.

In addition, the airport said that a job fair will be held at the airport. Details are available at:, it added.

Bristol Airport starts next phase of development work

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.


Gatwick airport begins demolition phase of new development

Gatwick airport has begun demolition work in preparation for its latest development.

Work has commenced on demolishing the airport’s second oldest pier, Pier 1. The work is being carried out by Vinci Construction UK, and the replacement facility promises to offer easier access from the departure lounge, greater capacity and airfield views at the departure gates, and designated areas for families and business passengers.

The replacement of Pier 1 is the latest stage in the airport’s £1.2 billion redevelopment, following the completion of work to improve the security area in the South Terminal, an extension to the North Terminal and the opening last month of a stand built specifically to accommodate the new Airbus A380 aircraft.

The new facility is intended to offer passengers an improved experience while transiting the airport, as well as providing a new baggage handling system that is concealed within the structure. The baggage system is part of an overall improvement to the airport’s baggage handling that offers benefits to both passengers and airlines. Facilities to improve the screening of hold baggage have already been introduced, along with greater overall flexibility, including an automated baggage storage service that enables passengers to deposit their bags on arrival at the airport, irrespective of check-in desk opening times, or even the day before their flight if doing so is more convenient for them.

London Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, commented, ‘Pier 1 has been in service since 1962, so the commencement of demolition works is a significant milestone in Gatwick’s on-going transformation. The new pier and baggage project will provide passengers with a new and much-improved experience from check-in, right through to the panoramic views down the runway that can be enjoyed while waiting for a flight.’


Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Business Park Master Plan

Bournemouth Airport, an airport on the UK’s south coast, has announced a ten-year master plan for the development of a business area at its Aviation Business Park.

The 540,000 square feet of area will include offices, industrial units, warehousing and distribution facilities, as well as aviation facilities to include new hangars. The 200-acre Aviation Business Park at Bournemouth Airport currently offers 1.6m sq ft of business space and hosts around 200 businesses, providing around 2,500 jobs to the local economy.

The project has the support of local councils, Christchurch Borough Council and Dorset County Council, and in total the development is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs in the next ten years, with the opening of new businesses in the area.

The project will be developed by MAG Developments, a UK-based airport property developing company, and a part of MAG, the company that operates Bournemouth Airport.

The general manager for property at MAG, Stephanie Mullenger, said, ‘Aviation Business Park has maintained a high level of resilience through the economic downturn and has shown robustness in meeting demand for smaller industrial units and relocating larger units, with occupancy levels now at around 97 percent.

It is a particularly favourable location for industrial occupiers within the A31-M27 Corridor, offering the unique benefit of direct access to the airport, its flights and its full-length commercial runway. The project will continue to build upon those successes, generate more economic activity in the area and the support the growth of businesses already based at Aviation Business Park.’


John O’Groats to get revamp

One of Scotlands most famous but run down tourist attractions is getting a revamp, John O’Groats will see the 6 million redevelopment begin this month.


Hoping to improve the towns tourist appeal, the most north easterly point in main land Britian John O’Groats, offering some amazing views but has been criticised for being run down and under-developed.


Beginning phase one will be the revamp of The John O’Groats Hotel, currently a derelict eyesore.


The first phase of the project, which will cost £1.8million, also includes the building of 19 luxury apartments and 23 standalone holiday residences.


The Last House Museum and Journey’s End café will be given a face-lift, a new harbour square will be built and the coastal paths to Duncansby Head and the John O’Groats Mill will also be revamped.


The redevelopment is hoped to be completed in time for the Olympic torch to pass through next year and showcase the town’s appeal to the world.


Highlands and Islands Enterprises, Scotland’s economic and community development agency, is providing £1.8million of the funding.


The remainder is being provided by private sources, including luxury self-catering holiday company Natural Retreats.


Ewan Kearney, Natural Retreats director, said: ‘We are delighted with the progress to date of this ambitious project and are confident that together with our partners and the local community we will create an outstanding tourism experience in the North Highlands and help future generations enjoy this famous Scottish landmark.’

John O’Groats plans


Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: ‘John O’Groats’ unique status as the most northerly point of the UK mainland has always seen it attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, explorers and, of course, fundraisers.


‘The planned investment represents a fantastic step forward for the town, making it an even more attractive destination for intrepid travellers from all over the world.’