Vilnius Airport seeks contractor for construction of new passenger terminal

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Part of the Lithuanian Airport network, Vilnius Airport is looking for a contractor to construct a new module of its passenger departures terminal in the northern part of the airport.

The new building will be of A++ energy class with the airport aiming to ensure the new terminal building is BREEAM Good certified. During construction of the new terminal the airport will need to remain operational as usual using the existing passenger terminal. In addition to the new terminal the reconstruction of the ground accessibility system in front of the airport will be carried out simultaneously. The engineering networks will be renovated, the pavement will be replaced, and a new much more efficient transport scheme will be developed.

The new two-storey departures terminal will sit between he existing departures and the VIP Terminal & Conference centre. The ground floor will feature a passenger check-in area with a self-service zone. There will also be common public spaces, cafes and other commercial areas and airline offices.

Luggage screening and sorting facilities, rooms for engineering systems are being designed in the eastern part of the building, while a passenger security screening area as well as departure and arrival gates for Schengen passengers are planned to be situated on the second floor. The new terminal will be connected to the existing passenger terminal by a spacious walkway, which will ensure comfortable connection between the two terminals. The new facility will also have two new air bridges.

“Already before the pandemic, Vilnius Airport had reached its capacity limits,” said Dainius Ciuplys, Head of Operations and infrastructure at Lithuanian Airports. “This development is very important both for us and the passengers. The new terminal will expand the operational and technological possibilities of the airport, which are related to the direct activities, and will allow to increase the range of non-aviation services. In the longer term, we will be able to easily initiate qualitative changes and introduce new enhancements in the existing terminal,” he continued.

With plans to start work next year, Vilnius Airport plans to select a contractor for the construction of the new terminal by mid-2022 with it going live by the end of 2024. Once complete the total area of all passenger terminals at the Lithuanian gateway will increase by a third. Passenger throughput will double – from 1,200 passengers per hour to 2,400

Bordeaux Airport inaugurates new pier

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As part of Bordeaux Airport’s modernisation plan, which is focused on service quality and environmental transition, its new pier, which was unveiled on 7 October, is the first High Environmental Quality (HEQ) facility at the French hub.

The fully transparent passageway links Hall A in Bordeaux Airport to its new international pier offering 3,000 m.sq. of new building, including 2,000 m.sq. of devoted passenger areas with four lounges offering panoramic views of aircraft taking off on the runway.

The new structure was designed with high-performance systems to ensure a comfortable indoor atmosphere, while boasting a distinctive and imposing façade of special glazing. Combining protection from solar over-heating and noise reduction, it provides a significant proportion of natural light, offset at nightfall or in cloudy weather by automatic variation in the LED lighting system.

The HEQ certification of the pier guarantees environmental and energy efficiency. Its annual energy use is 11% lower than that of an airport complying with the most recent thermal regulation. Regarding water use, it enables an annual saving of 1,000 m. sq. of drinking water, i.e. the equivalent of 200,000 lavatory flushes.

High-performance, environmentally friendly interior furnishings, including paint and suspended ceilings were chosen to emit as few pollutants as possible. Wood furnishings sourced from sustainably managed forests, and the linoleum flooring is composed of 90% fully natural and recyclable materials.

The new pier is one of several projects the airport is undertaking to enhance its service quality and strengthen the management of its environmental impacts. Despite the global health crisis the airport has pursed an active strategy for its environmental management with the goal of becoming a carbon neutral airport by 2030.

Header image: Bordeaux Airport’s new passenger pier ©@SA_ADBM

Princess Juliana Airport’s terminal reconstruction underway

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Ballast Nedam International Projects B.V. has officially signed an agreement as the general contractor for of Princess Juliana Airport’s terminal reconstruction project. Construction is due to start by the end of September.

The airport terminal suffered massive devastation during Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the official signing ceremony, which was held at the airport’s check-in hall on 24 August marks one of the most anticipated reconstruction projects in the construction firm’s history.

The Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project is jointly funded by the European Investment bank (EIB) and the Sint Maarten Trust Fund. The Sint Maarten Trust Fund is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank, and implemented by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB).

Commenting on the contract signing, Brian Mingo, CEO of the Princess Juliana International Airport said: “This is a major milestone for the country, PJIAE NV and our staff. I would also like to compliment the project team with this accomplishment, despite the hurdles such as COVID-19, which complicated the works tremendously, they never lost focus and made the impossible, quite possible.”

He added his thanks to “all stakeholders not forgetting our shareholder, the Princess Juliana International Airport Holding Board (PJIAH) and the Government of Sint Maarten for their patience and consistent support over the last year. I am proud to announce that we finally can start rebuilding the ‘Airport of the Future’.”

The phased-planned construction portion of the project will take place over a two-year period, following the mobilisation of the contractor in August 2021. Ultimately, the renovation development will further modernise the 15-year-old terminal building.

The reconstruction project is due to be complete by Q2, 2023, although sections of the terminal building will come online from as early as December 2022.

Perth Airport welcomes Australia’s first Aspire Lounge

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Swissport International is expanding its lounge business in the Asia-Pacific region having launched the first Australian lounge under its global Aspire brand at Perth Airport.

The addition of the Aspire lounge at the Perth follows Swissport’s acquisition of No1 lounges with facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The new Aspire lounge was developed in partnership with Perth Airport and is open to all passengers departing from Terminal 2. The terminal is currently home to charter and regional flights operated by Virgin Australia, Alliance Australia and Rex.

Passengers accessing the lounge can make use of comfortable seating and a relaxing atmosphere for 120 guests. Amenities include a variety of digital magazines and newspapers, charging facilities, televisions and free Wi-Fi.

“We are excited to bring our renowned Aspire lounge brand to Perth Airport. It will make travelling for our guests as relaxing as possible,” said Brad Moore, Swissport’s Managing Director Australia. “Our lounge products are carefully designed to meet the unique and evolving needs of our airport and airline partners. The remote area workers that frequent Perth’s Terminal 2 will have access to a peaceful new space for socialising and dining, adding some extra comforts to the start of their journey.”

Perth Airport’s CCO, Kate Holsgrove, added: “Pay-per-use lounges are becoming more popular at airports around the world. It is great to be able to open the new Aspire Lounge to our regional passengers as a place to escape the hustle and bustle before their flight.”

The airport is set to welcome a second Aspire lounge later this year. It will be built in the airport’s former control centre and part of the observation deck, transforming it into a dedicated space for passengers to unwind and enjoy sweeping views of the airport and the city skyline before embarking on their journey.

Gainesville Regional Airport unveils new terminal expansion

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Florida-based Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) marked the opening of its newly upgraded terminal with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of July.

The 15,200 sq.ft. two-gate passenger terminal expansion and improvement project was completed less than two years after breaking ground.

Providing a variety of passenger amenities and services to accommodate increased passenger traffic and demand, the expanded terminal features additional restrooms, a new food and beverage area, a quiet reflection room and an outdoor pet relief area, while connectivity features in every passenger chair.

GNV’s CEO, Allan Penksa, expressed his gratitude to those involved in the new terminal by  saying they have been “instrumental in shaping the vision for this great community asset.” He also paid homage to the local construction teams for “working hard through all types of conditions,” to realise the almost $16 million project that is part of the airport’s master plan.

“This project has been years in the making and is an important milestone in our continuing efforts to provide high quality air service and passenger facilities to our region,” added Penksa. “The fact that all involved were able to do this so well and uninterrupted despite the challenges of a worldwide pandemic is simply amazing.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA) Chairwoman, Grace Horvath, said as the community comes out of the pandemic, passengers are truly responding to the airport’s enhanced service and GNV’s ‘Fly Easy’ experience. “Beyond the capacity improvements and ability to support new service, this project provides an even more beautiful front door to our region, one we can all be proud of,” she noted.

The airport’s terminal expansion project was paid for by a combination of state and federal grants, along with passenger facility charges collected by the airport’s carriers, Delta and American Airlines. The terminal expansion and boarding bridges are the second and third phases of terminal investment, with final phases including addition parking options, new outbound, baggage screening/ handling system and additional airline operations space to better accommodate existing and future carriers.

Five more airlines move into Manchester Airport’s revamped Terminal Two

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Having unveiled its new-look Terminal Two earlier this month with flights initially being operated by, TUI and Singapore Airlines, Manchester Airport has now welcomed the next wave of airlines that will start flying from its new state-of-the-art terminal.

A selection of new shops, bars and restaurants have also opened their doors. Initially only a handful of units have opened in line with current passenger numbers. These include popular local brands in addition to well-known high street names including Pret-a-Manger and Costa Coffee. The remaining units will open as more airlines move across as passenger numbers increase.

Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Brussels Airlines all moved operations to the new terminal on Tuesday 20 July. As a new carrier at Manchester Airport, airBaltic started services to Riga in Latvia earlier this month and will move over to T2 on 21 July followed by Ethiopian on 22 July.

Having flown from Manchester Airport for more than 30 years Singapore Airlines will once again connect the North to the Far East and beyond through the excellent onward connectivity at Changi Airport.

More airlines are expected to move across to the terminal as summer progresses and international travel restrictions ease.

“Last week was such a huge and poignant milestone in Manchester Airport’s 83-year history as we opened our new Terminal Two extension,” says Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport.

“As the government continues to cautiously lift the lid on international travel restrictions and gives more freedom to double vaccinated passengers, its great to see more of our airline partners resume services, increase frequencies and move across to their new home in Terminal Two.

“Not only will opening the new terminal help with our COVID-19 recovery, as passenger demand hopefully increases as more countries are added to the green list, but it will also give our customers the best experience as they jet off on their holidays.”


Study on electric air route between Umea and Are Ostersund Airport underway

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Swedish airport opearator Swedavia is taking part in a feasibility study for fossil-free aviation in northern Sweden, which has been granted SEK 9.5 million by the Swedish Energy Agency. Part of the study involves investigating an electric air route between Umeå Airport and Åre Östersund Airport.

The project is being run in partnership with the Municipality of Umeå, BioFuel Region, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and RISE Processum. The project’s aim is to investigate the conditions needed for aviation powered by biofuels, electricity and hydrogen. The overall goal is to map out the conditions required for green aviation and to survey sustainable value chains as well as studying what the conditions at the airports are like for introducing fossil-free fuels.

“For many years, Swedavia has been involved in and driven the transition to fossil-free aviation, which is absolutely crucial to the transport of the future, which includes aviation,” said B-O Lindgren, Airport Director at Swedavia’s Umeå Airport.

We have driven this work through a number of initiatives and in collaboration with the rest of the aviation industry, with a focus on increasing the potential to choose sustainable aviation fuel. We are also working to prepare our airports for handling electric aircraft when these are available in the commercial market. We consider it very positive that the project is now starting up with our partners. It will be an important piece of the puzzle in the continued work to achieve fossil-free aviation – regionally, nationally and internationally.

Swedavia, which operates and develops 10 state-owned airports in Sweden, previously adopted a strategy for electric aviation to enable all the airports in its portfolio to handle electric aircraft and that the first commercial electric air route can be placed in service in around 2025.

In the Autumn of 2020, Åre Östersund Airport became the first of Swedavia’s airports to test and prepare the infrastructure to enable a transition to the increased electrification of aviation, under the electric aviation project, Green Flyway.

Milan Linate unveils €40 million interior revamp

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Following its exterior makeover in 2018, Milan Linate has now unveiled its interior revamp featuring three key elements: design, technology and sustainability.

The aim of the airport’s €40 million new look was to give the airport a new identity that would characterise the spaces, atmosphere and materials in order to improve the traveller experience and enhance customer satisfaction. For the operational areas, the project was inspired by the guidelines of neuro-architecture, a method whereby neuroscience is applied to architecture, aiming to create spaces capable of fostering well-being, while reducing stress and anxiety to a minimum.

Work on Linate’s terminal involved the architectural and functional redesign of the check-in area, security filters and duty-free area. The terminal has also been expanded and now covers an area of 10,000 sq. m. over three floors. It features new gates and check-in facilities as well as a new shopping arcade and a new food and beverage area.

The check-in area has been redesigned with a double-height ceiling and with the inclusion of plants overlooking the first floor to create a calm, green space. The existing suspended ceilings have been replaced with wood-effect slats which have been alternated with plasterboard sails that enhance the perception of the surrounding space. An integrated lighting system emphasises the curved lines of the sails and the LED profiles alternating with the baffles. Meanwhile, the check-in desks have been redesigned to identify the SEA brand, with soft brass-covered edges.

The area dedicated to security checks has also been redesigned and reopened back in October 2020. The architectural elements, colours and materials in this area were chosen to reduce as much as possible the stress that security checks can cause passengers. The latest generation technologies have also been incorporated into the security check area too simplify and speed up the process.

New Explosive Detect Systems for Cabin Baggage (EDS-CB) that use CT technology have also been installed. The high efficiency of the system allows for screening without the need to separate electronics and liquids from carry-on baggage, further enhancing the travel experience.

Thanks to next generation biometric technology passengers can opt to have their ID verified using biometric technology, therefore reducing the need to show their paper documents at various stages throughout the airport journey.

To further reinforce a sense of place, the airport collaborated with Triennale Design Museum, which has allowed for the installation of historical works by famous Italian designers throughout the airport.

The new terminal has also been awarded BREEAM In-Use excellent certification – the environmental certification for buildings constructed according to sustainability principles.

Skyports builds momentum with vertiport project in Japan

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Skyports has been selected to participate in two upcoming vertiport projects aimed at delivering electric take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLS) in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture.

Skyports has been accepted as one of five organisations to contribute eVTOL expertise to the Osaka Prefecture Super City. The project will see Skyports play a pivotal role in the development of infrastructure and drone delivery services. In addition to working with industry partners on the planning of the network, Skyports aims to have an operational passenger eVTOL vertiport in place by the Osaka-Kansai World Expo in 2025.

“Our knowledge of locating, designing, building and operating infrastructure for air taxis and drone deliveries is second to none. As part of these projects, we are helping Osaka fulfill its vision of becoming an urban air mobility centre in Japan, providing not only a vital facility to support the burgeoning air taxi market, but demonstrating the benefits that drone delivery services will provide to the region,” said Duncan Walker, CEO at Skyports. “The fact that we have been selected to contribute to multiple programmes aimed at developing Japan’s AAM ecosystem is testament to the work that Skyports does. We look forward to working with new and existing partners to enable AAM to thrive.”

Ryo Segawa, Industrial Strategy Group, Industry Innovation Promotion Division, Growth Industry Promotion Office, Department of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Osaka Prefectural Government, added: “We understand that it is one of the most important subjects to build a user-friendly vertiport which can be easily utilised by eVTOL manufacturers, fleet operators, passengers, and other parties considering the introduction of eVTOL into society. In this context, we are very happy to welcome Skyports to join Osaka Round Table because they have a broad knowledge and are actively working in this area globally.”

The city of Osaka, alongside Osaka Prefecture, aims to become a model smart city by providing cutting-edge services in multiple fields and implementing bold regulatory reforms, thereby establishing its place as a world leader in advanced technology and a pioneer of city life of the future.

Europe’s travel and tourism sectors call for clear restart plan in time for summer

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Formed of a group of more than 60 public and private  travel and tourism organisations, the Europe Tourism Manifesto Alliance has unveiled a series of joint recommendations for EU member states on how to relaunch travel and tourism in time for summer 2021.

At the heart of the EU’s plans is the development of an EU roadmap for restoring travel once countries emerge from national lockdowns to be developed and implemented in close cooperation with industry and social partners.

The joint recommendations laid out by the European Tourism Manifesto alliance were shared with the EU government ahead of the crucial discussions.

A statement from the alliance read: “Our goal is for Europe to return to its place as the leading tourist destination in the world – and a safe one. As EU vaccination programmes progress and protect the most vulnerable citizens, we must jointly prepare for the restart of travel. There is simply no time to lose – preparations on a common approach should begin now, in order to restore public confidence by the summer. Our recommendations detail a joint way forward towards restoring travel & tourism and freedom of movement on behalf of European citizens. We look forward to working with EU leaders to put this plan into action as soon as possible.”

A summary of the recommendations to EU Member States includes:

  • The creation of an EU Task Force to restore freedom of movement of people.
  • Coordination of travel restrictions
  • Testing: A harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing should encompass member states to ensure affordable testing, sufficient capacity, mutual recognition of tests between Member States and continuous work at international level for the mutual recognition of tests, as well as the validation of the use of antigen and other rapid tests for travel and tourism purposes.
  • E-Health certificates: EU coordination of national initiatives is urgently needed too avoid having 27 different certificates covering testing, vaccination and/ or immunity.
  • Coordinated reopening of tourism activities – once the health situation allows it, it is crucial to restart tourism and leisure activities alongside re-establishing freedom of movement for EU citizens.