Work has commenced on a €15m facilities investment plan aimed at transforming the Airport over the next three years. The investment strategy will see over €15m invested in new passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructural works across the airport facility and runway.
By the end of the first quarter of 2018 almost €4m worth of major infrastructural projects, to improve the operational efficiency and to upgrade and enhance the airports facilities and services, will have been completed.
Projects to be completed between 2017 and 2019 include:
· Resurfacing of Car Park Zone 5 resulting in 250 permanent surfaced car park spaces less than five minutes walk from the terminal
· Major upgrade of existing car park equipment to the latest state of the art equipment including the introduction of a number plate recognition system
· Construction and re-modelling of new toilet facilities at the airport
· Covered aircraft passenger boarding stairs for passengers boarding and disembarking aircraft
· Re-modelling of immigration and arrivals area creating increased circulation space for arriving passengers
· Upgrading to new flight information display screens across the airport terminal
· Upgrade and replenishment of ground handling equipment and safety and response vehicles
· Enhancements to the airport retail and catering facilities
· Construction of a new Tourist Welcome Centre adjacent to the arrivals area
· Introduction of new digital display screens throughout the airport facility
· Remodeling of departures area creating additional seating capacity and upgrading of furniture
· Upgrading of the existing runway instrument landing system (ILS) enabling enhanced navigation for pilots
· A full resurfacing of the airport’s 2,400m runway including taxiways and an upgrade of lighting system to LED
This year the airport has commenced a series of critical projects on the airports runway to maintain the highest standard of airport safety and operations. The work includes replacement of existing runway lighting and fittings, major airfield drainage programme, upgrading of the runways instrument landing system and other minor site works.It is planned that in 2019 work will commence on a €10m+ overlay of the airports 2.5km Runway. The current runway is 30 years old and work will involve a resurfacing of the entire runway ensuring this critical infrastructural asset is maintained to serve the region for the next 30 years.
This latest investment at the airport will also include a major enhancement of the airport experience from a visual perspective with the introduction of a new and modern way finding signage system throughout the airport as well as the implementation of a new brand identity, helping to create a a combination of a lighter and brighter passenger environment and contemporary look and feel throughout the airport terminal.
This transformation programme will provide a major boost for the local economy with the airport utilising the services of a number of local contractors and suppliers to carry out some of these projects.
This latest development plan follows the completion of a number of safety and security related projects, totaling over €2.5 million last year, as the airport continued to invest, with the support of the Department of Transport, in upgrading its facilities whilst ensuring compliance with Irish Aviation Authority requirements from a safety, security and operational perspective.
Commenting on the development plans, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport commented, “This latest facilities investment programme will adapt, modernise and transform the airport with contemporary elements and future-proof services. It will make the airport more efficient, provide greater flexibility and resilience to the passengers and ensure an even more comfortable and easier journey through the airport. This is especially important at a time when we are experiencing passenger growth and working with our airline partners to introduce more choice in services for our customers.
"We believe these planned improvements will continue to grow our reputation as the faster, easier, friendlier airport of choice for those travelling to and from the West, Midlands and North West of Ireland. Investment in new facilities and in particular continued investment in safety and securityensures the operational environment of the airport will be future-proofed to meet the evolving airline and security needs and to ensure we have the infrastructure needed to handle more passengers and provide them with a positive experience whether arriving or departing as we enter the next phase in the airports development. I wish to express our gratitude for the continued support of our local authority partners and the Departments of Tourism, Transport and Sport and Rural & Community Development towards these developments. In addition, a thank you to our customers whose contributions, through the Airport Development Fee, provide a critical funding support for the airports development plans."