£12m East Midlands Airport boost to cut security queues
EAST Midlands Airport has today revealed plans for a £12 million project to speed up security screening and upgrade shops and restaurants.
It has received planning permission to refurbish its security search area and create an extension between the existing departures and arrivals building.
The investment is intended to make the airport simpler and more efficient for the 4.3 million passengers who pass though it annually.
Work is due to begin in the next couple of weeks and will be completed towards the end of 2013.
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Further investment is planned next year to improve the airport's shopping area and introduce more leading brands.
The extension will house a larger duty free area and business lounge.
Meanwhile, more space at the security gates will mean passengers can pass through the x-ray screenings faster.
While building work is going on, the terminal building will remain operational.
The project will be completed in phases to ensure disruption to passengers is kept to a minimum.
Tim McDermott, general manager at the airport, said: "The investment is a result of feedback from the travelling public. The idea is to reduce queues by making the area bigger and wider.
"It will help speed up the security screening process to get passengers through more quickly."
The refurbishment also incorporates features to make it more environmentally friendly, including replacing existing lighting and chillers and using natural daylight and ventilation, saving approximately 315 tonnes of carbon emissions and a 15% reduction in energy usage.
In recent years, the airport has extended the arrivals area, constructed a bus interchange and an area for additional aircraft gates.
However, this is the first time in 17 years that East Midlands Airport has made this level of investment in the terminal building.
Mr McDermott said: "It is incredibly important that the airport continues to develop its facilities and services to meet both current and future market demands, improve the journey for its passengers and also adapt as the industry continues to evolve."
The multi-million-pound investment follows agreements with new operators Monarch and Flybe who, through a deal with Air France, will provide access to worldwide destinations via Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Expansion plans were also revealed by existing carriers Ryanair and Jet2.com this summer.
Mr McDermott said: "To continue to meet the growing needs of our passengers and the industry, we know we must continually invest in our facilities to encourage growth."
The development is expected to create jobs throughout the construction phase.