The project got underway in November 2014 and involved the construction of a two storey, 1,400 square metre extension to one of the airport’s three piers. As well as creating new boarding areas for passengers, it also brings the total number of Code E stands, which enable the airport to accommodate larger aircraft for long haul services, to six.
With the east pier now complete, Glasgow Airport has invested more than £25 million in enhancing its facilities during 2014 and 2015. This includes a major refurbishment of the international arrivals area, modernisations to the main check-in hall, the landscaping of a new public space at the front of the terminal, and general improvements to the airport’s road network.
Mr Mackay visited the airport for the official opening where he unveiled a plaque and met with members of the Glasgow Airport team, including Managing Director, Amanda McMillan and Operations Director, Mark Johnston.
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said:
“I’m very pleased to be here for the official opening of the East Pier Extension this morning
“Glasgow Airport has attracted a number of new long haul services and this development will help build on that success. Not only will it be able to accommodate bigger aircraft, but it will also provide improved facilities for departing passengers.
“The Airport has secured 22 new routes over the last year, and I have no doubt the new extension help them win more new services in the future.
“Of course, we could encourage airlines to operate more direct routes to and from Scotland by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty, and I once again call on the UK Government to transfer the powers to the Scottish Parliament as soon as possible.”
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said:
“2015 has been a fantastic year with the airport continuing to go from strength to strength. Not only have we launched a host of exciting new routes and services, we have also seen unprecedented growth in our passenger numbers and have also been classified as one of Europe’s fastest growing airports for the first six months of 2015.
“It is a privilege to welcome Scotland’s Transport Minister to the airport to officially open our new extension. The fact that this project was completed within a year of it being undertaken demonstrates the strength of our partnership working with construction firm Balfour Beatty. Not only will this extension allow us to accommodate an additional 750,000 passengers a year, it has also created more space and better facilities for our customers to enjoy.”
Stephen Scott, Balfour Beatty Managing Director, said: “Balfour Beatty has a long-standing relationship with Glasgow airport having worked together to successfully deliver the design and construction of the East Pier extension, the current terminal remodelling and through the Raynesway brand continuing civil engineering works.
“The opening of the East Pier is a significant milestone in the enhancement and expansion of the airport. We wish the Glasgow Airport team every success for the future and look forward to continuing providing services to them in the years to come.”
In August, Glasgow Airport was confirmed as one of Europe’s fastest growing airports for the first half of 2015 by trade body ACI Europe. Over the past year the airport has secured 22 new routes and services, including a new daily service to Halifax, Nova Scotia with Canadian airline WestJet, a direct service to Las Vegas, and new connections to a range of European cities including Prague, Dubrovnik, Budapest and Bordeaux.
Over the coming months, more services will begin to Lublin, Vilnius, Cancun, Barbados and Cuba, as well as Milan.