The next phase of Glasgow Airport’s £30 million transformation is now underway as construction work begins on the year long project.
After almost six months carrying out enabling work on the site, contractors have begun laying the foundations for the project by installing 88 massive concrete piles in the ground.
The construction phase is expected to last seven months, with the new development set to open in October 2008.
The building façade will feature a revolutionary translucent cladding system known as Kalwall, a highly-insulating material that is amongst the most energy efficient in the world. Kalwall absorbs external daylight, allowing natural light to flood the terminal, reducing the need for artificial lighting and heating.
The material has been used extensively in the United States, where it was first developed. Several prestige buildings now feature Kalwall, including NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral, the New York Metropolitan Museum, the New York Hall of Science and Orlando Sanford Airport.
The skyhub development is the biggest single investment by airport operator BAA Glasgow for a generation and is part of a £200 million investment package planned at the airport over the next decade.
The £30 million project aims to reduce security waiting times, increase capacity in the terminal and offer passengers more choice and comfort.
When it opens in 12 months time, it will include a new purpose built security search area - through which all departing passengers will pass - and new bars, shops and restaurants.
Once through the new central search area, passengers will be free to access any of the retail, catering and lounge facilities on offer throughout the terminal.
A number of top retailers and restaurant chains are already being lined up for the new departure lounge.
The first sign of the multi-million pound transformation will come at Christmas when New York style bar and restaurant Frankie and Benny’s opens in the terminal, replacing the current Garfunkel’s restraurant. Other additions will be announced in the coming months.
Gordon Dewar, MD of Glasgow Airport said: “skyhub will allow us to offer greater levels of choice and comfort for passengers by creating one departure hub open to all departing travellers. At £30 million, it is the largest single investment made by BAA for a decade and will transform the travel experience for passengers flying from Glasgow Airport. It is also another sign of the continuing regeneration of Renfrewshire’s economy.”
Visiting the site of the £30 million development, Renfrewshire Council leader Derek Mackay said: “Glasgow Airport is the major private employer in the Renfrewshire Council area and I am delighted to welcome this investment. We have worked with BAA to assist their plans for the airport’s future, and this investment demonstrates their commitment to delivering those plans and confirms commercial sector confidence in Renfrewshire as a place to do business.”
Mr Dewar added: “BAA Glasgow is determined to put passengers first by delivering the highest standards of service every day. To do so, we recognise that we need to continue investing, both in our people and in our facilities.
“BAA is investing record amounts at Glasgow Airport to reduce security waiting times, with additional staff and x-ray equipment already in place. skyhub will help deliver further improvements. The new central search area will allow us to reduce the amount of time passengers wait in security lines to just five minutes or less. We want to make the journey through Glasgow Airport as safe and seamless as we can for all our passengers and deliver better service today, and every day.”