Bristol Airport in the southwest of the UK has announced it will begin work on a £24m (US$38m) west terminal expansion project that will transform the security search process for passengers.
The 97,000ft2 terminal extension will feature state-of-the-art technology to deliver a faster, more efficient security experience as well as an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and a meet-and-greet area that will ease congestion and improve services for arriving passengers.
Scheduled for completion in summer 2016, the west terminal extension will house 10 lanes in the central search areas alongside two additional security channels in a dedicated fast track zone. An enlarged preparation area and significantly longer 69ft lanes will enable more passengers to prepare for inspection simultaneously, reducing wait times and raising customer service standards.
As well as delivering immediate benefits to arriving and departing passengers, construction of the west terminal extension will also create space for future improvements to immigration facilities, enabling another bottleneck at busy times to be addressed.
Robert Sinclair, chief executive at Bristol Airport, said, “Once completed, this major development will take the total investment in our terminal and wider airport infrastructure since 2010 to over £120m (US$189.5m). Not only will the west terminal extension ease the congestion we are experiencing at times this summer as a result of high passenger volumes, it will create a more attractive and comfortable environment and help to remove some of the stress sometimes associated with air travel.
“This is going to give us a clear advantage over the competition by making it more attractive for airlines to fly from Bristol, and it is a significant step towards achieving our vision to provide passengers from the South West and Wales with a world-class customer experience when flying in and out of their local airport.”
Chris Ware, head of security at the airport, added, “With this development we are responding to changes in security requirements, airline business models and passenger behavior which have resulted in a greater quantity of hand baggage being carried through our central search area. The west terminal extension enables us to design new layout and processes tailored to meet this challenge, but with the flexibility to adapt to evolving security needs without inconveniencing passengers.
“In combination with the introduction of innovative technology, some of which will be new to the UK market, the new facility will enable us to transform this vital part of the airport experience without compromising stringent compliance requirements.”
Construction on the west terminal extension will begin in the next few weeks and is the second major extension to the terminal; the £8.5m (US$13.5m) east terminal extension is due to open next month. To read more on this project see the June issue of Passenger Terminal World.