[WATCH] Malta airport set to double in size with €100 million terminal expansion

Malta International Airport will increase in size from 18,000sq.m. to 31,200sq.m. to accommodate 25 more check-in desks, four new security lanes and 15 more gates


A planned expansion of Malta International Airport will see its terminal double in size from 18,000 sq.m. to 31,200 sq.m.

The expansion, which will cost €100 million, will include an increase of 25 check-in desks, four additional security lanes and 15 more gates.

MIA CEO Alan Borg said that a call for architects to draw up designs will be issued in the comings weeks. Borg, who was addressing a press conference on Wedneday, said that the architects would have around 10 months to prepare their assessment, designs and phasing, and that a timeline for the completion of the project should be rolled out by the end of the year.

The aim of the expansion is to deliver a 5-star airport, with increased operational and commercial areas and the introduction of a more consistent "sense of place" which connected the airport's look with Malta and its heritage, Borg said.

"I want MIA to look like an airport in Malta, not just any other airport," Borg said.

The expansion will lead to the airport entrance being pushed further forward, with the addition of terraces and a food and beverage area. The check-in area wil be expanded by over 2,000 sq.m. and check-in desks will increase by 25 to a total of 61. "This will add experience value through quicker check-in times," Borg highlighted.

Immigration control will be shifted from Level 1 to a lower level, increasing the available space significantly for arrivals and allowing for more luggage reclaim belts.

Each departure gate will grow in size, with a four-fold increase in space for seats and queues, Borg said. The number of gates will rise to 21 from the current 11.

The security area will see its lanes increased from six to 10.

Spirit of the Maltese islands

The design of the expanded terminal is envisaged to be such that it captures the spirit of the Maltese islands particularly through the use of traditional patterns and materials, colours that are evocative of the sea and clear skies, and a play of light so as to bring to the building the warmth that Malta and its people are known for.

With sustainability being an important value for the company, energy-efficiency and water consumption considerations will constitute another pillar of the expansion project.

Smart technologies including a new building management system to allow for energy and water management optimisation and better insulation are among the improvements that will contribute to the development of an energy-efficient building, which will play an important role in the company’s journey towards the achievement of carbon neutrality.

SkyParks 2 designs to be finalised in 2020

Borg said that detailed designs for the planned SkyParks 2 complex are expected to be finalised this year.

He said that a team of architects to undertake the project had been engaged and that a tender for an operator of the hotel, which will be located within the complex, was issued earliert his week.

Moreover, the fuel station will this year be relocated from its current location to another area within the airport campus.

MIA was also working with a firm for the development of a 46,000 sq.m. area to address the current bottleneck in aircraft parking space, Borg said.

A firms was currently workng on the design, specificatins and bill of quantities for this project, with the aim to start work later in 2020, he said, adding that this would entail the largest investment since the privatisation of the airport.

Airport passenger movement up 7.4%

Borg also used the opportunity to present the airport traffic results for 2019, which show that passenger movement rose by 7.4% - or 500,000 movements - last year compared to 2018.

Amongst the reasons for this were the addition of 20 new destinations to MIA's network and Ryan Air's basing of a sixth aircraft in Malta, Borg noted.

He said that, while 2019 had started slow for the airport, things had picked up once the summer schedule began in April. The last three months of 2019 were particularly strong, he said, particularly December, which saw a 15.2% increase in passenger movement compared to the previous year.

The UK remained Malta's top market, growing by 2.2%. This, Borg said, happened despite the events surrounding Brexit and showed the market's resilience.

Italy (3.4% growth), Germany (9%), France (10.8%) and Spain (17.3%) were the next biggest markets respectively after the UK.

Overall, Borg said, the picture was very positive for 2019 across the different markets.

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