Maldives Airports Company unveils first phase of VIP terminal at Velana Airport

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Lounge operations have commenced at Velana International Airport’s new Maamahi Executive Lounge, following the completion of phase one of the VIP terminal building.

The four-storey VIP terminal facility is being developed as a two-phase project with world-renowned architect, Yuji Yamazaki. Designed to deliver a luxurious experience encapsulating the spirit and style of the Maldives, the interior design was overseen by AECOM while Beijing Urban Construction Group was tasked with construction.

Phase one of the VIP terminal is housed on the ground floor and is dedicated to VVIP services. It is approximately 3,200 sq m and once the total project is complete it will provide 6,800 sq m of space.

The second phase of the project will see two more floors being developed with construction work due to start in early 2022. Services on these two floors will be dedicated to VIP customers.

JetBlue Airways to manage terminal construction project at Fort Lauderdale Airport

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Broward County Aviation Department has appointed JetBlue Airways to manage the construction of a five-gate US$300m passenger terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida, US.

The new facility is part of the airport’s master plan to provide much needed growth in terminal gates in response to airline and passenger demand. To deliver programme management services for the development of Terminal 5, JetBlue Airways has contracted Parsons Corporation. The aviation infrastructure provider has contributed to the planning, design and management of more than 450 airports around the world.

“Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest-recovering US airports, with passenger traffic approaching 2019 pre-pandemic levels,” said Peter Torrellas, president, connected communities, for Parsons. “As we continue a return to air travel, it is critical for airports and airlines alike to prepare for passenger and service expansion. Our aviation experts have served South Florida for more than 20 years and we look forward to building on that legacy in partnership with JetBlue and the Broward County Aviation Department.”

Airport Dimensions and AMBAAR Lounge expand network in Brazil

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Following the successful opening of the first AMBAAR Club Lounge at Viracopos International Airport at the end of 2021, Airport Dimensions and VIP lounge operator AMBAAR Lounge have opened two further lounges in Brazil at Fortaleza Airport (FOR) and Porto Alegre Airport (POA).

The AMBAAR Club POA combines high-quality design with a host of facilities to make the travel experience more relaxing and convenient. Private rooms for calls and meetings will be complemented by an exclusive coffee bar area, buffet and cocktail bar. The lounge design has been inspired by local themes of the surrounding Rio Grande do Sul area, with an emphasis on wood and leather with highlights in rich shades of red, yellow and green that reflect the state’s flag. The result is a space that evokes the cosy environment of a country house typical of the mountain cities found in the state.

Meanwhile the new facility at FOR pays homage to the culture of Brazil’s north-eastern Ceará state. Carefully considered details such as a vibrant colour scheme provide a warm and welcoming ambience, while hammocks and strategic lighting recreate the city’s relaxing beaches and the balmy north-eastern Brazilian sun.

Both lounges will operate from 6am to 10pm, offering a range of seating options, children’s play areas and private booths, as well as an extensive selection of local and internationally inspired food and beverages.

Sabine Trenk, COO of Fraport Brasil, said: “The opening of these two new environments in Porto Alegre and Fortaleza raises the standard of services offered at our airports. The partnership with a qualified company and a reference in VIP rooms, such as AMBAAR Lounge, brings quality and professionalism to the experiences we offer to our passengers.”

As well as entering the South American travel market for the first time with AMBAAR Club, Airport Dimensions has been bolstering its position in the US and the UK with projects that have included the acquisition of the No1 Lounges business, with Airport Dimensions now operating nine No1 Lounge spaces at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Birmingham airports. The company also recently expanded its award-winning The Club brand with a new opening at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and is set to launch another at Charlotte Douglas International Airport early this year. In addition, Airport Dimensions announced last year a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, which will introduce Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club, with locations already in development.

VolkerFitzpatrick awarded runway refurb contrat for Gloucestershire Airport

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Gloucestershire Airport has appointed VolkerFitzpatrick, one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction companies, to deliver a Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) approved upgrade to Gloucestershire Airport in 2022.

The work will be carried out in four phases, with the primary focus being the resurfacing of the crosswind and main runways. There will also be new runway lighting and upgrades to signage and drainage, as well as the installation of below ground infrastructure in readiness for a new radar system.

One of the airport’s three runways will remain open while works are carried out, albeit operating at reduced capacity. When all work is complete, the airport’s existing ‘north/south’ runway will permanently close to make way for the development of the new business park, CGX Connect.

Starting in January 2022, the first phase will see the crosswind runway resurfaced with work taking place through the night to avoid any disruption to operations. Phases two and three will follow in Spring 2022, with work taking place during the day and throughout the night. This phase will see the resurfacing of the main runway, new runway lighting installed, upgrades to signage and draining, and the installation of below ground infrastructure.

Phase four will be the testing and commissioning phase of the project in readiness for anticipated completion and resumption of normal operations by Summer 2022.

“We’re well versed in working on projects like this, having completed similar works at Glasgow, Birmingham and Gatwick Airports. These upgrades will place Gloucestershire Airport firmly at the top end of aviation standards and technology, which will help unlock numerous opportunities and benefits for the airport and surrounding area,” commented Kevin Berry, VolkerFitzpatrick Operations Director.

“These are transformational times for Gloucestershire Airport,” continued Karen Taylor, Gloucestershire Airport Managing Director. “These upgrades are essential to the continued smooth running of operations and, along with CGX Connect, will really elevate the quality and status of the airport, along with its profile as a ‘gateway for growth’ for all those significant developments being brought forward across the region.

Ridge & Partners LLP will work alongside VolkerFitzpatrick, providing project and commercial management services for the runway upgrade. Justin Wright, Senior Project Manager at Ridge & Partners LLP explained how the work will be carried out.

Arconas unveils new airport seating product

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Arconas, which manufactures and distributes furniture for airports and passenger terminals has unveiled the release of its new product emBARq.

Offering a sleek design that combines a functional work surface with a charging station, emBARq requires no hard wiring. It can comfortably seat up to six people and the horizontal power source provides AC and USB charging. It also features convenient hooks for passengers to hang their belongings while working.

Made from a solid steel structure, the unit can be floor mounted through levelling glides and a wheelchair accessible counter heigh option is also available.

Providing passengers with the latest powering technology, such as wireless charging, emBARq will enhance the passenger experience with Arconas describing the seating solution as making transportation terminals more accessible and barrier free.

Sheltair marks milestone in $26m hangar and office expansion at Tampa Airport

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As part of a multimillion-dollar investment to serve the needs of private aviation customers travelling to or from Tampa International Airport in Florida, Sheltair has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its construction of a new 100,000 sq. ft. hangar and office expansion at Tampa International Airport (TPA). The $26 million project aims to meet the growing needs of aircraft operators in the area, which Sheltair TPA’s award-winning FBO services will also support.

“As a third-generation family business committed to investing in our communities while focusing on meeting and exceeding the needs of the general aviation industry,” said Sheltair President Lisa Holland. “This new hangar development is testimony to that extraordinary commitment which will add 150 temporary full-time jobs while supporting a vibrant region of commerce and culture.”

The four new state-of-the-art hangars will range from 14,562 to 33,269 sq. ft. each with build-to-suit office spaces and the ability to accommodate large-cabin class size aircraft such as the G650 or Global 7500.

Tenants using the facility will also benefit from Sheltair’s state-of-the-art FBO featuring a 29-foot arrival canopy. The FBO also offers access to 24-hour US customs and executive boardrooms and is situated minutes from downtown Tampa and the Raymond James Stadium.

“The growth of general aviation and private aircraft operations has been one of the success stories of the past few years, even throughout the pandemic,” said Tampa Airport CEO, Joe Lopano. “Sheltair has been a wonderful partner in serving the sector of our business and we’re thrilled to welcome this major expansion, which we know will be nothing short of spectacular when it opens next year.

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

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 Jet.com, 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.”