From today, visitors flying to and from Alicante will use a brand new terminal at El Altet Airport which replaces the former two terminals and is expected to double the airport capacity to up to 20 million passengers per year.
The new terminal covers an area of 333,500 square metres, six times the size of the previous Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 together. It has 98 check-in desks (compared to 53 in the old terminals), 26 boarding gates (compared to 16 in Terminal 1 and 2 together) and 16 luggage carrousels. Passengers can also enjoy a choice of 20 shops and 16 food and drink outlets.
Special technology incorporated in the terminal includes the Automatic System for Luggage Management, which has capacity to deal with 7,880 bags per hour, and uses a radio-frequency chip to track the luggage and minimise the number of lost bags.
The new terminal is part of a € 628 million (£ 548 million) expansion project for El Altet, which also includes a new six-storey car park, the improvement of road access to the airport, and a power station to supply electricity for the airport.
El Altet is currently Spain’s sixth busiest airport, dealing with more than 250,000 passengers per day and offering flights to 75 international and 14 domestic destinations.
Today’s opening follows the recent inauguration of Alicante’s new Auditorium (ADDA) and Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA), which will undoubtedly help attract more visitors to the city. The new Terminal’s additional capacity will also help deal with the arrival of thousands of visitors expected for big events such as the Bonfires of Saint John Festival (20-24 June), and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Alicante’s port on 5 November.