Ports of Jersey have unveiled their "ambitious" set of plans for a £42million revamp of Jersey Airport.
The result of a year of work with international experts, the new proposals would see the arrivals and departures housed in the one modern multi-floor building, featuring increased food and shopping options by 2021 - but that will involve demolishing the 1937 building.
That will be achieved by extending the existing departures area with a 2,300 square metre mezzanine floor accessible via lifts, escalators and stairs, which will open to a security area and departures lounge.
The lounge is intended to be a spacious open-plan shopping and café zone with lots of natural light and offering views of the aircraft from seating directly overlooking each stand.
Describing the current viewing gallery as “beautiful” but “underused”, Ports of Jersey (PoJ) CEO Doug Bannister commented: “Imagine the whole departures lounge filled with that wow.”
Video: Doug Bannister explained what air passengers can expect from the new airport if plans are approved.
Four new gates will be created in the existing passenger pier. Passengers in the upstairs departures areas would link to them via lifts and escalators that would take them to the ground floor area to board their flight.
Mr Bannister said that much of the rationale behind the improvements revolved around customer satisfaction, and ensuring that the new, more open designs were both “intuitive” and minimised stress for travellers.
Security will double in size as a result to 880 square metres. Mr Bannister said that average passenger waiting times were already low, but recent trials of a more open format saw these improve “dramatically” to around 2.5 minutes on average and nine at peak times.
But the moves weren’t just about modernising the current departures site, which was opened in 1997, or improving passenger wellbeing. They say they’re keen to ‘future proof’ the 20-year-old facility, and ensure that it’s fit to meet the new challenges of increasingly large commercial aircraft and new aviation regulations.
Pictured: An outside view of the proposed airport.
Rules have tightened in recent years following a number of terror-related and security incidents at international airports. One new standard has seen the airfield exclusion zone increase, meaning that the 80-year-old arrivals hall is now classed as an “obstacle”.
Demolition was approved in 2014 following lengthy debate over whether it should be classed as a Listed building. The Environment Minister ultimately afforded it Grade II status, but later agreed that it could be demolished. Work has already begun to strip the upper areas, and remove carcinogenic asbestos from the area.
“This is an ambitious and exciting project that ultimately will see the creation of a ‘new’ airport that addresses our compliance requirements, provides a modern facility for our passengers and airline partners’ future requirements and strives to enhance the overall journey experience,” Mr Bannister said.
PoJ officials believe the single terminal project will be finished by mid-2021.
Pictured: The new departures area will have a large retail and food offering.
The plans have been over a year in the making, after PoJ proposed a £65million redevelopment last summer. It would have seen departures and arrivals kept separate, but Mr Bannister explained that the idea had been chucked out when the project team realised that savings of over £20million could be made by placing both areas in the same building, which would also make operations like baggage handling more efficient. The budgeted cost of £42million will include constructing the new parts of the building and the demolition of the 1937 arrivals terminal.
In future, Mr Bannister explained that PoJ are considering creating a multi-storey carpark that would join up to the main building's mezzanine departures area.
While they do have a dedicated project team, Ports of Jersey are also looking to hear the views of members of the public.
Pictured: The arrivals hall, which PoJ CEO Mr Bannister said could incorporate artwork from local people.
Alongside the images of the development, they've launched an online portal where islanders can read about the project before sending their ideas - even in the form of photos of quirky ideas from other airports - via email to them.
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