Mexico’s Guadalajara airport announces US$500m terminal revamp project

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Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP) is planning to invest 10 billion pesos (US$500m) by 2026 in the development of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport in a bid to make it the “best airport in Mexico”.

The plan includes an additional runway and new terminal building as well as, in the short/mid-term, a new 6 billion pesos (US$300m) redesign of the commercial space in the existing building. The Design Solution has been appointed to deliver the redesign, with the new space due to open on a phased basis over the next two years before being fully open in 2023.

The current terminal has benefited from numerous expansion projects since its opening in 1966 and today is a collection of airside zones, complex circulation patterns and architectural styles. The operator states the objective of the terminal redesign is to rationalize passenger flows, creating a series of engaging touchpoints along the passenger journey, from security to gate, with a design that unifies the entire experience. The Design Solution has worked alongside the project’s commercial consultants, Pragma Consulting, in fulfilling the approved proposal.

“Our first task was to rationalize the passenger flows through the terminal to create an intuitive route in the airside commercial area. With this approach, passengers have much more direct engagement with the greater exposure given to stores, restaurants, bars, pop-ups and seasonal event experiences,” explained Graeme Johns, director of The Design Solution.

“It is always a challenge to transform older terminals that have evolved through piecemeal development, especially those that were predominantly assembled before commercial revenues became so important. These new designs will create a world-class facility and passenger experience fitting for GAP’s ambitions to transform Guadalajara International Airport and to maximize its commercial potential.”

A key area of the redesign focuses on a flat roof canopy, located outside the center of the terminal building, over an expanded baggage area. The proposal is to transform this into a signature feature of the terminal, with an external garden terrace, surrounding an agave-inspired architectural shade pod, offering casual seating, planting and a unique eating and drinking destination.

Heavily planted areas will include trees to complement the minimalistic concrete benches with low level under-lighting, combining to create a light, contemporary and natural landscape look and feel. The exterior aesthetic will be further enhanced with the application of resin-bound aggregate floor finishes and warm natural materials.

A large rotunda space is to be introduced directly after the walk-through duty-free store, with a large aura formation of pendant lights, made from Peltra, a Mexican porcelain enamel, designed by local contemporary design agency Bandido Studio in Puebla, suspended within the space.

The airport is the third largest in Mexico, handling almost 15 million passengers in 2019. The development will increase capacity to 30 million passengers per year, an increase of 60% more flights. Pre-pandemic passenger growth was double digit and the airport anticipates a return to growth in due course.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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