Work started yesterday (January 22) on the construction of a second immigration hall and baggage reclaim area at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland. To mark the occasion, Prime Minister David Cameron visited the airport and was taken on a tour of the construction site by Gordon Dewar, CEO for Edinburgh Airport, and Sir John Elvidge, chairman of Edinburgh Airport.
The new £50m (US$75m) expansion project is designed to increase the airport’s capacity for managing long-haul flights and will include additional aircraft stands and air bridges. The investment is the second stage of a five-year £150m (US$225m) development plan and follows the completion of the projects first stage, a £25m (US$37m) terminal expansion project.
Long-haul traffic at the airport increased by almost 90% in 2014, thanks to new routes with Qatar Airways, United Airlines and US Airways, and increased services from Turkish Airlines. The first phase of the airside program will add 6,560ft2 to the immigration hall and is due for delivery this summer, ahead of the arrival of Etihad Airways on June 8, 2015.
Speaking at the event, Dewar said, “As we announce the next part of our five-year investment program, it was a pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister to Edinburgh Airport today so he can see the extensive changes we’ve already made and those we are about to start.
“We’re committed to providing our passengers with choice and giving them the best experience. The work we’ll be carrying out over the next four years will transform our airside facilities, tripling our capacity to handle bigger aircraft and paving the way for the next 10 years of increased international connectivity.
“We’ll effectively be creating a new international facility for our airlines, and underpinning our future aspirations to increase passenger numbers and enhance their experience and be one of the leading European airports for our size.”
The Prime Minister added, “Having first class infrastructure is a crucial part of our long term economic plan to support business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for hardworking families across the country.
“The expansion of Edinburgh Airport is great news for Scotland and for the whole of the UK. It will open the door to more long-haul flights and new routes, meaning more tourism, more trade and more jobs for people here in Edinburgh and beyond.
“It will also help Scotland to compete on an international scale and of course the UK’s large network of embassies across the globe will continue to keep banging the drum for Scotland and help maximize any opportunities, whether it is bringing in overseas investment or supporting businesses in Scotland to export worldwide.”