First phase of major terminal extension nears completion
Created: 28th Jun 2016
New security lanes set to enhance Airport experience for departing passengers.
The opening of Bristol Airport’s biggest ever terminal extension is just three weeks away as the first phase a 12 month construction programme nears completion. The first section of the £24 million facility, including a bigger and better security search area, will open on 18 July.
The Airport has experienced a very busy summer so far, with record passenger numbers expected throughout the holiday season. Combined with the temporary loss of space while construction work is underway, this has resulted in congestion in the terminal at the busiest times of day. This has been compounded by air traffic control strikes in France, Greece and Italy which have caused disruption across Europe, resulting in some delays at the UK border when flights have arrived off-schedule.
The 9,000 square metre terminal extension features state-of-the-art technology in a significantly enlarged security search area which will deliver a faster, more efficient service to departing passengers. The first tranche of new security lanes opens in mid-July ahead of the school summer holidays, with the remaining new lanes coming on line from the end of the month.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:
“Undertaking a major construction project in what is a live operational environment 24/7 can be challenging. This has inevitably had some impact on our usual service standards so far this summer, but I am confident the new facility will deliver an excellent experience for passengers.
“By opening the extension in phases we wanted to make sure passengers travelling during the busy summer holiday get the benefit of this investment. While the extension will not be fully completed until the end of the year, we expect this first phase to deliver immediate improvements for departing passengers.”
In total, the new extension will comprise 12 security lanes, including a dedicated Fast Track zone which will go live later this year. A pre-boarding preparation area will provide a new space for passengers to get their belongings ready for screening, and an automated tray return system with extended conveyor belts will streamline the process through metal detectors, x-rays and security scanners where required.
While the priority of this first phase of development is to address bottlenecks for departing passengers, an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, and meet and greet area will be completed by the end of the year, also enhancing the arrivals experience. Completion of the current extension will then enable the immigration hall to be developed in 2017, with plans including the installation of up to 10 of the latest ePassport gates. In the meantime, Bristol Airport continues to work closely with Border Force to ensure adequate staffing levels are in place, including utilising the Airport’s second immigration point whenever possible during peak times.
An additional exit lane from the Airport site onto the A38 has also been created, improving the flow of vehicles during busy times.
Passengers are being advised to allow sufficient time for their journey to the Airport this summer, taking into account busy holiday traffic as well as possible disruption to the local transport network as a result of road and rail improvements across the West of England. Those travelling on scheduled flights should aim to check in two hours before their flight departure time, and holidaymakers on charter flights can check in up to three hours ahead.