London Stansted Airport has opened the first section of a new check-in area, created as part of its £600m (US$818m) transformation project.
Eight new hi-tech check-in desks are the first of 30 that will be introduced this year to handle the growing number of passengers using the UK airport.
The desks form part of the first phase of works, which also includes upgrades to the airfield, parking lots and new upper deck seating areas to create more space for passengers in the departure lounge.
Phase 2 of the transformation project will see the construction of a £130m (US$177m) arrivals building, which is set to open in 2020.
The new terminal will be situated next to the current terminal and will include larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, new retail facilities, improved access for all onward transport options and a public forecourt.
Paul Willis, transformation director at London Stansted, said, “We’re delighted to reach this major milestone in our transformation program. We’ve been working hard since the end of last year and it’s been fantastic to watch the project move away from the planning stage and come to life.
“Over the coming years, the whole landscape of the main terminal will change as we remodel the layout to a new ‘Shoreline’ check-in area which will stretch across the whole terminal. This will give passengers a more intuitive and easier journey through the airport and provide flexibility to allow us to accommodate new airlines as we grow as an airport.
“This is a really exciting time for London Stansted and its £600m transformation program. This investment will transform the experience for millions of passengers, unlock spare capacity and provide a greater choice of destinations and airlines. We’re confident passengers, airlines and staff will love the new Stansted when it’s fully completed in 2022.”
In Spring 2020, work will start to reconfigure the existing terminal building so that it is dedicated to departing passengers, providing more space at check-in, security and in the departure lounge.