Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport begins £1.4m project to increase central security capacity

presecurity-perspective-3Work is underway on a £1.4 million project to increase capacity in Glasgow Airport’s Central Search facility in the main terminal by 20%.

The overhaul will see a complete reconfiguration of the entrance to the airport’s Central Search area which will increase the number of security lanes from 10 to 12.

Existing self-service boarding pass scanners will be relocated to a pre-search preparation area on the first floor at the top of the escalators with capacity doubled from five to 10.

Two wider gates will also be installed to support passengers with restricted mobility as they pass through security. The first phase of the project commenced this month and will be completed by March 2018.

Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s operations director, said: “Providing our customers with a safe, convenient and reliable security experience is at the heart of everything we do.

“Passengers travelling through the airport rightly expect a security procedure that is fast, efficient and friendly. This is a real asset to any successful airport and it’s an area I’m pleased to say we excel in.

“The airport is fast approaching the 10-million passenger mark, so it was important to get ahead of the game by expanding the security facility.  Our current satisfaction ratings sit at 99% of passengers moving through security in under 10 minutes.

“We are confident this latest expansion will further improve performance, particularly during the peak travel times we are seeing more frequently as the airport continues to grow.”

This is the most significant improvement work undertaken in Glasgow Airport’s centralised search area since it was opened in 2008 as part of a £31m terminal extension programme.

Plans submitted for Clyde waterfront and Glasgow Airport regeneration projects

An artist's impression of what the revamped Clyde Waterfront would look like

An artist’s impression of what the revamped Clyde Waterfront would look like

Plans for two new bridges are to form the centrepiece of infrastructure projects to regenerate part of the Clyde waterfront and improve the area around Glasgow Airport.

A planning application has been submitted to authorities in Renfrewshire, Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire for the £90.7 million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project, which aims to regenerate the Clyde Waterfront as an area supporting residential, industrial, business, retail and leisure opportunities.

The project, led by Renfrewshire Council as part of the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, includes construction of the only opening road bridge across the River Clyde and new roads and cycle routes to better link the communities of Renfrew with Yoker and Clydebank.

Clyde waterfront regenration 2Plans for the £39.1m Glasgow Airport Investment Area project are also being submitted to Renfrewshire planning officials.

Construction of a new bridge over the White Cart, realignment of Abbotsinch Road, and new cycle routes form the project proposals to improve connections between the existing Westway, Inchinnan and Airport business parks.

It will also facilitate the creation of a world class business and commercial location in the heart of Renfrewshire, connected by air, sea and land.


Clyde waterfront regenration 3The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside will include:

  • A 184 metre, two-lane opening bridge across the River Clyde, linking Meadowside Street in Renfrew with Dock Street in Yoker and accommodating vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • A 750 metre Renfrew North Development Road to link Meadowside Street to the A8 at Argyll Avenue in Renfrew.
  • New cycle lanes and connections to existing cycleways and active travel paths, connecting from Inchinnan Road, Renfrew through to Yoker Railway Station.
  • New bridge approach roads providing access to the River Clyde crossing from existing roads
  • Active travel routes of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes incorporated into all new roads and bridges

Renfrewshire Council said this will attract £282m in private sector investment, deliver 1690 new homes and bring back 83 hectares of land into use.

It will also create 1015 jobs during the construction period and 629 permanent jobs as a result of new business creation.


Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said the City Deal projects would bring jobs and business benefits to the local area.

He said: “These projects offer tremendous benefits for local businesses and have the potential to transform how we do business in Renfrewshire.

“These major infrastructure investments will make it easier for employers to do business, easier for employees to get to and from their places of work and open up the potential for future investment.

“Around 1,400 jobs are expected during the construction period and a further 11,000 permanent jobs could be created through existing business expansion and new businesses being attracted to the area as a result of the City Deal infrastructure investment.”


Clyde waterfront regenration 4The Glasgow Airport Investment Area will include:

  • Realignment and upgrading of Abbotsinch Road – including 1620 metres of new road – to establish a high quality gateway into the new investment area
  • A new 70 metre, two-lane bridge over the White Cart river from Wright Street to an approach road off Arran Avenue
  • Active travel routes of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes incorporated into all new roads and bridges
  • A 2030 metre off-road cycleway connecting the realigned Abbotsinch Road to Inchinnan Business Park
  • A 100 metre cycleway and pedestrian bridge spanning the Black Cart

It is hoped the project will support the continued expansion of Glasgow Airport and bring £430m in private sector investment.

Renfrewshire Council also said the scheme will create 365 jobs during construction and up to 10,600 jobs as a result of new business creation in the Investment Area.


Mr Grant added: “Improved connections will also benefit the public and local employers, with 59,000 jobs becoming more accessible to Renfrewshire residents.

“I am very excited at the potential of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area to bring highly-skilled jobs to the area. The signs are already there – the first minister recently announced that an £8.9m specialist centre to develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries will be established here in Renfrewshire.

“It has been encouraging to see the public are firmly behind these projects and I look forward to seeing the work get under way. These are key projects in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which has the potential to unlock £3.3bn in private sector investment benefitting the whole region.”

If approved, work on both projects is expected to start on site in 2018 with construction completed in 2020.

Plans approved for direct Glasgow Airport rail link

Glasgow Airport Access ProjectCouncil leaders have formally backed plans to build a direct rail link between Glasgow Airport, Paisley and Glasgow city centre.

The £144 million Glasgow Airport Access Project is the flagship project for the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Plans unveiled last month showed journeys to and from the airport would be transformed as a state-of-the-art system carries passengers on specially designed tram-trains using both the existing railway network and a new light rail spur from Paisley to the airport.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Region Cabinet lead for enterprise, said: “With the approval of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet we have taken another step towards getting this crucial direct rail link in place.

“This project is simply vital to securing the long-term success of the local and regional economies. Glasgow Airport supports more than 7,300 jobs – 4,300 of which are in Renfrewshire – and improved transport connections will open up the city region to tourism and businesses, generate inward investment and create jobs for local people.

“The direct rail link will help increase annual passenger numbers from nine to 13 million by 2030. It will also enhance the benefits of our other City Deal projects, which are designed to unlock our economic potential, creating a world class business and commercial location with excellent links across the Clyde and into our town and city centres.”

Glasgow Airport injects around £170m to the Glasgow City Region economy every year and businesses have backed the project as essential to ensuring it remains competitive in the years ahead.

The Glasgow Airport Access Project was endorsed by the Cabinet after being approved by both Renfrewshire and Glasgow City councils in previous weeks. Construction of the direct rail link is due to begin in 2022 and the system will be operational three years later.

The tram-train model was chosen as the preferred option after an appraisal established it offered the greatest opportunity of encouraging people to travel to and from the airport via public transport.

It would reduce the required time for all trips travelling through Glasgow City Centre and Paisley Gilmour Street to the airport by providing a direct link with no changes required.

Glasgow Airport’s head of planning and development, Ross Nimmo, is fully behind the plans for tram-trains to provide the direct rail link.

He said of the project: “It has a very strong business case, with conservative estimates suggesting the airport is set to become one of the busiest train stations in Scotland.

“This is great news for travellers, and whether they choose the train, the bus or the car, Glasgow Airport will be easier to get to than ever before.”

The news comes as the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet approved £15.6 million of funding to prepare a full business case for making £115.5m worth of improvements to Glasgow’s city centre.

Those involved say Glasgow is the UK’s second most important centre in retail in finance after London’s West End and the City, with more than 150,000 jobs and over 40,000 students – not to mention 100,000 commuters travelling in on weekdays.

Glasgow City Council’s City Centre Strategy aims to increase Glasgow’s prominent position by improving infrastructure.

If the plan goes ahead, that will mean resurfacing the streets and pavements in places like Argyle Street, Cathedral Street, George Street, Central Station, King Street, North Hanover Street, Sauchiehall Street and West Nile Street.

It could also mean creating avenues of trees, segregated cycle lanes, underground facilities and a reduction in traffic through the city centre.

Councillor Frank McAveety, chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: “Glasgow city centre is the number one area of economic activity not only in Glasgow, but in the wider city region and indeed Scotland, so its future development is hugely important.  Through this investment in developing the infrastructure of the city centre, this project will help to deliver the strategy for the area by improving connectivity to and between city centre districts, supporting development and economic growth, and improving and protecting the built environment.”

Personal Rapid Transit option unveiled for proposed Glasgow Airport rail link

Artist's impression of the station Junction 29 station

Artist’s impression of the station Junction 29 station

Plans have been unveiled for a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system which would take travellers from a new station in Paisley to Glasgow Airport if a scheme by Junction 29 (Scotland) Ltd is chosen as the preferred option for a new airport rail link.

The PRT system, which would run from a relocated Paisley St James station, is one of the two options being considered by the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet for the proposed Glasgow Airport Rail Link.

The rival tram-train option, which would involve carriages running from Glasgow Central to the airport via Paisley, is estimated to cost £144 million and would offer a 16.5 minute direct journey from Glasgow city centre to the airport, with an estimated completion date of 2025.

Using the existing main rail line which goes through Paisley Gilmour Street station, PRT’s backers said their alternative option offers a reduced cost, faster journey times, a quicker completion speed and would cause less disruption.

Junction 29 (Scotland) Ltd said its plan would cost £70-£80m to deliver over 12 months and would be built alongside the existing network. It also claims that a 1.1 mile journey from the airport would take just four minutes.

A diagram showing where the PRT route would go

A diagram showing where the PRT route would go

Junction 29 (Scotland) Ltd owns a 40-acre site next to Glasgow Airport at Junction 29 of the M8.  The site is large enough to provide a park and ride at this new station plus additional land for a mixed-use development.  The PRT option uses proven technology and features small automated vehicles, which can be different sizes, operating on a network of specially built lightweight guideways.

Paul Kelly, managing director of Junction 29 Ltd, said: “The PRT option offers reduced costs, a faster journey time, can be delivered within 12 months and would significantly ease congestion on the M8 corridor between the airport and the city centre. Our PRT solution is very similar to what is already in place at London Heathrow Terminal 5, which is very reliable and has high levels of customer satisfaction.

“Passengers would travel on the Glasgow Central – Gourock/Wemyss Bay line and disembark at a relocated Paisley St James station. They would then join the PRT system and four minutes later, arrive at the airport.”

The proposed Junction 29 site as it stands

The proposed Junction 29 site as it stands

Mark Chestney, head of rail at Heathrow Airport, said: “The proposed PRT system for Glasgow Airport is very similar to the system at Heathrow Terminal 5 which went into full service in May 2011, taking passengers on the five-minute journey between the terminal and a 1275 space car park. Since the service began, the system has carried around two million passengers, has an excellent safety record and availability has been approximately 99.5 per cent.

“The system has removed 70,000 annual bus journeys from the busy Heathrow road system, saving over 100 tonnes of C0emissions every year. The PRT system is also quiet, comfortable, on demand, and one of the most popular systems for passengers around the airport.”

Tom Johnston, chairman of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “Improved surface access to and from Glasgow Airport is vital not only for the continued success of the airport but for Renfrewshire’s economy.  In my opinion, a rail link would deliver significant benefits for Renfrewshire, which would give the area’s businesses a fantastic boost and could potentially bring more jobs to the area. Renfrewshire is expanding both commercially and residentially, so improved access and connectivity is vital.  Anything that will reduce traffic on the M8 corridor would be welcome.”

The proposed Glasgow Airport rail link is the flagship project of the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

A decision on which becomes the preferred option for the proposed Glasgow Airport rail link will be made by Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet in December.

Two transport deals secured by Kier Construction Scotland

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid

Kier Construction Scotland has announced a significant transport contract win and framework appointment as it continues to establish its position within the sector.

Kier has been appointed as construction partner for £2 million of upgrade work at Cumbernauld Bus Station on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council. The works, which have been won through hub South West Scotland, will be phased to maintain use by the public during the improvements and will provide increased accessibility and more attractive, modern and comfortable waiting facilities.

Work on Cumbernauld Bus Station is expected to begin later this year and follows the appointment of Kier by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) to undertake expansion and modernisation work on Inverness Airport.

Kier has also been appointed to Glasgow Airport’s framework for the delivery of building works at the airport over the next three years during a period which sees the airport investing in new capital projects designed to provide a better experience for passengers.

Kier Construction Scotland’s business development manager, Gordon Reid, said: “These key appointments add to the positive momentum we have built up during the early part of 2016 and we are delighted to have secured two projects which will support Scotland’s infrastructure and transport offering.

“Our ongoing work with hub South West Scotland continues to go from strength to strength and we eagerly anticipate undertaking the work at Cumbernauld Bus Station, a project which, by the sharing of skills and experience through our supply chain, will be constructed so that the bus station is fully operational during the upgrade.

“Glasgow Airport is an asset of strategic national importance, providing employment for more than 7,300 people across Scotland and generating nearly £200m annually for the economy, and we look forward to working with them to support their growth strategy.”

Lorna Bowden, business manager (strategic planning) at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The creation of improved bus stances for Cumbernauld is an important project for the council and our partners which will see a £2.2m investment in the town centre. We have commissioned Kier Construction Scotland to deliver a positive outline design, which will meet the needs of the public, commuters and everyone who uses the town centre and will create a modern new facility for Cumbernauld.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive, hub South West Scotland, said: “hub South West are partnering with Kier Construction Scotland on a number of current projects, all of which will make a significant and positive impact on the delivery of services to the local communities these facilities will serve.

“Through this partnership approach, North Lanarkshire Council are making a significant investment in modernising these bus facilities and encouraging more frequent use of public transport. This project will provide Cumbernauld town centre with modern and accessible facilities, and we are looking forward to working once again with Kier Construction Scotland and our wider collaborators.”

City Deal to explore potential for Glasgow Airport rail link

Glasgow AirportA scheme to build a tram-train link is one of two options being put forward for a new connection between Glasgow city centre, Paisley and Glasgow Airport.

The flagship project in the £1.13bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, would see tram-train carriages would operate on the heavy rail network between Glasgow Central Station and Paisley Gilmour Street before moving on to new tram rails running between Paisley and the front of the airport terminal building.

Estimated to cost around £144.3 million in total, the tram-train link would offer a 16.5-minute direct journey between the city centre and the front door of the airport.

Construction could start in 2021 and it could be operational by 2025.

A light rail personal rapid transit system is also being considered. In this scheme, passengers would travel by standard train to Paisley before disembarking and changing onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey to the airport.

The personal rapid transit option would cost £102m and would involve a mix of the existing heavy rail network and a new light railway connecting from heavy rail at Paisley to the airport utilising a bespoke system similar to that used at other airports.

Studies have shown that tram-train would be the best performing option, offering the best value for money, due to its greater attraction for users. This would result in more people using the service and better journey times for people travelling to and from the airport. It would come in at less than half the cost of a new heavy rail solution, which would cost an estimated £317m and is being ruled out as being too expensive.

The tram-train and personal rapid transit schemes are contained in a strategic business case which has been developed jointly by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. It will be put before councillors in both authorities before going to the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet for approval.

If approved, further work would be done to develop more detail on both of these options before a final, preferred choice is made next year.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “This new connection will contribute a great deal to the success of the City Region; supporting the airport’s continuing success and generating jobs throughout the area.

“City Deal has also committed £51m to the Glasgow Airport Investment Area where further infrastructure developments will create a business location offering unparalleled air, sea and land connectivity.

“The airport and Renfrewshire will be fully integrated into the Region’s transport network and play a pivotal role in its thriving economic future.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow and the Clyde Valley is the economic powerhouse of Scotland and Glasgow Airport plays a crucial role in the continued growth of the region.

“We’ve long argued that a new rail link between the airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of tourists and business travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.
“The airport already supports thousands of jobs but this new rail link, which is the single biggest element of our City Deal, will be the catalyst that takes us to a new level, vastly improving the customer experience and generating even more jobs and inward investment.”

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “This flagship project presents an exciting opportunity to deliver real benefits to the city region and beyond. We welcome all the positive steps that are being taken to progress this important project and will continue to work closely with colleagues at Renfrewshire Council, Glasgow City Council, Transport Scotland and Network Rail through to successful delivery and operation.

“Improving transport links to Glasgow Airport is a top priority for us, particularly at a time when we are enjoying sustained passenger growth. Over the past 12 months alone we have welcomed an additional one million passengers through our doors, so it is important that improved transport links can be achieved as soon as possible.”