AIRPORT construction, particularly the redevelopment of an existing terminal, is among the most complex of construction projects.
The vast range of technical standards, legislative requirements and logistical challenges, let alone designing something that looks that part, has kept me awake on numerous occasions since my first role at London Heathrow. But it’s worth it.
During eight years of walking through airport terminals every day, I have seen couples kiss each other farewell, friends welcome each other home, and even helped an excited Olympian carry a pole vault through customs on her way to the 2012 games.
Airports are the backdrops to some of the most poignant moments we’ll encounter and have a sense of energy that is second to none.
Several years of record passenger numbers have placed considerable pressure on every aspect of Aberdeen International Airport’s facilities.
While the situation has become less pronounced recently due to the global drop in oil price, the airport team recognises that a development plan is required to cater for passenger growth over the coming decades.
We were therefore delighted to announce an investment of over £20million earlier this year to comprehensively transform the airport.
Spread over three years, the project will double the size of security search, immigration, and baggage reclaim and create an exciting new retail environment in the departure lounge.
Work is already underway to divert underground utilities and Phase 1, the construction of a new 5,800sqm terminal extension, will commence in late summer.
While this is a wonderful opportunity, it presents technical challenges that are inherent in any airport terminal redevelopment.
In order to create space for the new extension, it will be necessary to temporarily relocate baggage reclaim to sites elsewhere.
Domestic reclaim will be accommodated on the terminal's front forecourt and international reclaim will be situated on the airside apron.
These temporary facilities will come into use later this month for a period of approximately a year.
International passengers will clear immigration and collect baggage within the temporary facility.
Friends and family meeting international passengers should wait in the same location within the main terminal as they do currently, this will not change.
The arrivals route for domestic passengers will be largely unaltered.
Passengers should exit the terminal building and the temporary baggage reclaim will be just 10 seconds walk away.
Airport staff will be on hand to provide assistance as these new facilities bed in.
Within the next three years, Aberdeen International Airport will be transformed into a facility fit for the 21st century.
My personal goal is to deliver an airport terminal that our passengers and region can be proud of.
Keep an eye on the airport website and social media channels for the latest information during this exciting time.