ASL, the Belgian private jet company, and Liege Airport, a regional hub in Belgium’s french-speaking Wallonia region, have signed a contract to construct and operate a hangar and business aviation terminal, as well as the exclusive provision of ground handling services for all business and general aviation flights operating out of the airport.
Liege Airport has commissioned SOWAER to build an apron at the north end of the airport site, on which ASL plans to build a first hangar covering 2,100 sq.m and an aviation terminal with an area of 250 sq.m. The hangar and terminal will be dedicated to receiving and accommodating private and business jets, their customers and crew.
“Business aviation is a growing niche segment at our airport,” said Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport. “Last year, more than 3,000 passengers used private jet services, an increase of 24% compared to 2017. The advantages of this new terminal will be speed, discretion and flexibility (open 24 hours a day). The business aviation centre will be directly connected with the motorway and will allow entrepreneurs, executives and investors to move around quickly,” he continued.
While Liege is Europe’s eighth largest airport in terms of cargo throughput, the location of the new business aviation facility and its isolation from other commercial aviation activities, the new terminal will have direct access to the apron and aircraft parking areas, thus offering a level of comfort, security, confidentiality and efficiency specific to business aviation. What’s more, the contract between ASL and Liege Airport also allows for more hangars to be built around the new apron in the coming years, to accommodate additional aircraft.
ASL’s fixed-base operator (FBO) certification enables it to offer handling services to business aviation customers (including both commercial and private operators). Its handling services include: aircraft parking, passenger and crew services, fuelling, catering facilities, coordination of customs services and crew and passenger lounges. Once the new business aviation terminal is opened and operational, these activities will be fully supported by ASL.
Commenting on how the agreement is hugely symbolic for ASL (which stands for Air Service Liege), as it started out with its very first aircraft at the airport some 25 years ago, Philippe Bodson, CEO of ASL Group stated that “besides the symbolic aspect that is so dear to me, this is also a very important economic project for us and for our Liege Airport partners. We want to make Liege a modern and exemplary hub for business aviation in Europe.”
Construction of the apron is expected to be completed in May 2019. Construction of the general aviation terminal and the ASL hangar will begin in late summer 2019, with the inauguration planned for the summer of 2020.