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Central walkway to enhance passenger experience and ease departure lounge congestion
Work has begun at Bristol Airport on a £6.5 million project to enhance the passenger experience and ease departure lounge congestion during peak travel times. Once completed, the new central walkway will include four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. The 3,880 square metre structure will connect directly to the departure lounge and will be served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, and toilet facilities to ensure passenger comfort levels. All gates will be within 105 metres or less of the main terminal and the walkway will provide much improved access to the existing forward coaching lounge currently used by passengers boarding bmi regional flights. The design of the new facility takes into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, with provision made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future. The central walkway forms part of a comprehensive development of the Airport and follows completion of a western walkway in 2010 which reduced the need to bus passengers to and from aircraft. Other recent enhancements include a second immigration point, additional security search channels and three new aircraft stands featuring fixed electrical ground power, all of which opened in summer 2012. Overall planning approval is in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum. This consists of 30 separate components which will be developed over time in line with passenger demand, including extensions to the terminal, a public transport interchange, multi-storey car park and an on-site hotel. Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: “The construction of the central walkway is a demonstration of our ambition to be the airport of choice across the South West and South Wales. It will significantly enhance the airport experience for our passengers and sets the bar high for future development of the terminal. “Following a record-breaking summer we felt the time was right to make further investment in our passenger facilities. Not only will this new development deliver an improved airport experience for passengers and relieve congestion at peak times, it also demonstrates that Bristol Airport is committed to providing the best possible facilities for our airline partners. International construction services company, ISG, has been appointed to deliver the project, which will be managed from its Bristol office. Work is scheduled to be completed by summer 2014. Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest in the UK, handling 5.9 million passengers in 2012. In August 2013, the Airport recorded the busiest month in its history, handling over 700,000 passengers.
View video of Central Walkway development here.
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