East Midlands Airport plans to double the size of its arrivals lounge, and make life easier for the millions of travellers who pass through it each year.
The Leicestershire airport wants to build an extension to the existing building and add five more e-gates to fast-track passengers through.
The work is part of £2 million of improvements to the arrival hall and the area where aircraft park.
Pending planning permission it is hoped work could get underway this spring and the expanded building will be open for business by July.
Around 4.9 million passengers use the arrivals hall each year and delays last summer saw some passengers queueing out of the building on arrival.
Two-thirds of passengers fly during the summer season between April and October, with July, August and September the busiest.
There are already five automated self-service e-gates operated by the UK’s Border Force at the immigration checkpoints inside the Castle Donington airport’s arrival hall.
The extension, which should not affect travellers during building work, would be built on a staff car park to the left of the current building when coming to it from the runway.
Last July the airport was criticised after hundreds of arriving passengers were said to have been left standing outside in hot weather as they waited to pass through border control.
Flying from East Midlands Airport?
Bethan McIlroy, from Nottingham, said she was met by a lengthy wait to get through passport control when she flew into the airport from Malaga.
She said she spent half an hour queuing outside and another hour inside the airport.
At the time the Home Office, which manages border control, said it had been due to a high number of flights landing outside their scheduled arrival times, placing added pressure on the airport and passport controls.
The airport said that next month it will also improve the central area where passenger aircraft park so that it can maintain its “excellent performance for on-time departures”.
It also wants to widen the airport’s east apron, which is used by Fed Ex/TNT, UPS, Amazon and Royal Mail, to allow for up to four more aircraft to be parked at any one time.
That will help with UPS’s £114 million investment in a new base at the airport which is doubling the size of that operation.
What the airport says about the plans
Airport managing director Karen Smart said she was delighted the improvement plans had been submitted to North West Leicester District Council for permission.
She said: “The demand for flights to and from the UK is forecast to grow and regional airports such as East Midlands are well-placed to absorb some of this capacity.
“My job is to ensure that East Midlands Airport continues to prosper and remain fit for purpose for many years to come.
“With major infrastructure projects planned for this region such as HS2, which will provide the foundation for enhanced connectivity to and from this airport, EMA needs to be ready for increased demand.
“As our current cargo performance has shown, we can’t stand still, and we need to keep ahead of the game.”
She said further investment this year at the airport include four new fire engines; a new fleet of airfield security and operational vehicles; replacing the remaining halogen airfield lights with LEDs – saving money and energy; installing new weather stations which will help reduce ice-related disruption.
‘A strong start to 2019’
She said the airport had had a strong start to the New Year with passenger numbers up 1.2 in January compared to the same month last year at 216,000.
Ski routes proved popular last month, with Chambery and Bergamo growing strongly. The number of passengers seeking some winter sun in Faro in Portugal, was up 7.6 per cent year-on-year.
An airport spokesman said: “While many UK airports reported a fall in cargo volumes at the start of 2019, EMA bucked the downward trend, its throughput rising by 2.28 per cent compared with January last year.
“The period from February 2018 to January 2019 recorded the highest ever tonnage – at 365,158 tonnes – in the history of the airport on a rolling 12-month basis.”
- Wi-Fi charges in U.K. airports revealed
- Via Facebook: NATO Commander reveals plans to end Libya mission
- Mad Catz Reveals $300 Transforming Alien Mobile Gaming Thing
- North-east councillors to discuss plans for new cemetery
- Vodafone reveals plan to retain customers' browsing history
- NBN Co reveals plans to release monthly progress reports
- Hillary Clinton Reveals Plan to Offer Free College Tuition to Millions
- Microsoft reveals plans for Web-based software services
- Apple reveals plan for AirPrint wireless printing solution
- Did Microsoft just reveal plans for an iPad Touch Cover?