Edinburgh Airport is about to deliver the latest phase of its ambitious development plans with the opening of its new £19 million south east pier terminal extension.
Tomorrow (Wednesday 6th September) morning, the first passengers will make their way through the new pier which provides six new boarding gates, additional lounge facilities, more retail space and extra office accommodation.
The extension, which takes the total number of boarding gates at the airport from 14 to 20, will reduce the current level of coach journeys for passengers by half, and help to relieve congestion at peak periods.
The new pier is part of a wider £300 million of investment in new infrastructure over the next 10 years by BAA Scotland to help the airport meet capacity in line with forecasted demand. It is predicted that passenger numbers will rise from 8.5 million a year today to 14 million by 2013, and as much as 26 million by 2030.
The pier, which adjoins the existing departure lounge at gate 14, will principally be used for domestic travel but can be adapted for international use. Two 60-metre travelators are installed in the facility for departing passengers. Alpha Retail will open a coffee unit and newsagent later this autumn.
The promotion of Scotland and its capital city lies at the heart of the development, and the pier’s connecting bridge is illuminated with inspiring images of Edinburgh and what it has to offer visitors.
The pier has been designed in such a way that it can be expanded incrementally, and in a sustainable manner. A state-of-the-art lighting system has been installed which automatically dims lights when they are not needed, saving energy and reducing the airport’s CO2 usage. The travelators also run on energy-saving motors.
Edinburgh Airport’s managing director, Richard Jeffrey, said: “At Edinburgh Airport we are working hard to ensure that we are fit to meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of passengers. By helping to ease congestion during our busiest periods, we hope the pier will give travellers a better experience as they travel through our airport. Most importantly, it will mean substantially fewer passengers will have to be transported to their plane by bus.
“This exciting new development further strengthens the airport’s foundations as a world class facility, and also supports our plans to develop further the international route network. It is part of an ambitious and sustainable programme of investment which paves the way for the airport in becoming one of Europe’s top international gateways, bringing far-reaching economic and social benefits”.