Riga Airport has announced it finished 2018 with a significant increase in all its key performance indicators: passenger numbers rose 16% to 7.06 million compared to 2017; cargo volumes increased by 1.04% to over 27,000 tons; and flight volumes grew by 11.5% to 83,500 aircraft handled in 2018.
“According to the latest ACI data, Riga Airport was the third fastest growing airport in its group in the third quarter of last year, only lagging behind Spain’s sixth busiest domestic airport in Seville and Sicily’s second largest airport Palermo. In turn, in a study recently published by the international aviation data analysis company VariFlight, Riga Airport was recognized as the seventh most punctual airport in Europe in 2018,” said Ilona Līce, chairperson of the board of Riga Airport.
“In order for Riga Airport to achieve its goal of becoming a modern and convenient North European air traffic hub and serving at least 10 million passengers a year by 2023, the company’s main task for the next five years is to implement the planned passenger and cargo infrastructure projects,” Līce added.
In 2019, the airport will begin the implementation of terminal expansion stage 6, under which a new public terminal and the related infrastructure will be constructed.
The new terminal will have both a modern and spacious passenger check-in area, a security control area and baggage reclaim and sorting facilities, as well as restaurants, cafés and shops.
“The new airport terminal will be connected to the Rail Baltica railway station, creating a unified passenger service complex and providing passengers with a convenient and fast connection not only to the capital of Latvia, but also to the entire Rail Baltica railway network covering the Baltic States, Poland and Finland,” commented Līce.
Together with the stage 6 construction, the airport is also planning an extensive development of its cargo-handling infrastructure. In 2019, the construction of a new cargo platform with an underground refueling system will commence and will allow more large-fuselage aircraft to be served at the airport, relieving pressure on the current apron aircraft stands.
In cooperation with investors, a modern cargo logistics center with an area of over 10,000m² (108,000ft²) is also planned, as well as other infrastructure and technology development projects such as modernizing and expanding the taxiing routes, rebuilding the access roads to the public part of the aerodrome, reconstructing the technical service building, and upgrading the rainwater sewerage system and lighting infrastructure.
All airport development projects will be financed from the company’s own resources without state budget support and the total planned medium-term investment is €139m (US$159m).