A new era for Aberdeen: Its revolutionary £20 million terminal upgrade
Aberdeen International Airport is working through a revolutionary £20 million upgrade to its terminal; a project which is the largest in the airport’s 85-year history. Managing Director, Steve Szalay, reveals how the development will transform the way 3.1 million annual passengers pass through the airport.
It’s an exciting time for me to join the team at Aberdeen International Airport, as we emerge from a troublesome period that saw the energy sector suffer its biggest crash in decades, but the airport and the region are turning a corner and there is a renewed optimism in the air.
I joined the airport in November 2018 and in that short time I’ve come to realise that there is a tremendous opportunity for growth. Our passenger numbers have plateaued during the last two years, but as our terminal upgrade nears completion and the local economy shows green shoots of recovery, we’ll be well placed and ready when the uplift hits.
We’re still recovering from lost routes in 2017 and early 2018, and the sector isn’t without its challenges. We are not immune from these. For us, market distortion remains impactful. Air Passenger Duty is still a real barrier for growth and we are feeling the effects of this. We hope that this issue comes to a positive resolution.
These issues aside, I’m here to lead our airport into a new period of growth, with a focus on increasing our leisure offering whilst maintaining our important business routes.
In difficult economic conditions, it would have been easy to postpone or even cancel our Terminal Transformation project. Instead, we made the decision to invest.
In the last two years, we have delivered new domestic and international baggage reclaim areas, a hugely improved security search area and a much-improved retail offering for our passengers. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with further developments to come later this year.
More retailers will be opening their doors in April 2019 within the revitalised departures lounge and some existing catering units will be refurbished in the summer months. We’ll be ready to showcase our final terminal by October 2019.