Inverness Airport reveals £900,000 terminal revamp

Kier Construction Inverness AirportA major plan to expand and upgrade Inverness Airport has been announced as the Highland terminal gears up for what could be its busiest year ever.

Airport operator HIAL is to invest £900,000 to create a new standalone international arrivals hall, which will house Border Force and international baggage reclaim facilities, built alongside the main terminal and linked by a covered walkway.

The new international arrivals facility will free up capacity in the main terminal where the existing airside departure lounge will be extended and reconfigured to provide seating capacity for an additional 150 passengers and four new retail and catering units, including a duty free store and coffee shop.

Kier Construction has been appointed to the £650,000 contract to construct the new international arrivals hall and expand the existing departure lounge.

Construction is expected to begin within the next few months and between 20 and 30 Kier employees will be involved in the building phase.

The work is being delivered through the Scape Group National Minor Works framework, which is designed to deliver public sector construction projects and programmes up to a value of £4 million quickly and effectively. Through the framework Kier and Scape will also ensure that much of the investment stays in the local community, with Kier using a number of local employees and subcontractors during the contract.

In a separate project, the airport’s security search area is also being refurbished and expanded, with the revamped pre-screening area offering a faster, more streamlined process for departing passengers.

Work on the security screening area is already underway and due for completion in March while the new look departure lounge and international arrivals hall are due to open in May.

Kier Construction area operations director, Sean O’Callaghan, said: “This project further illustrates our recent successes within the Scottish transport sector, as well as illustrating our position as a leading player in the Highlands and north-east of Scotland.

“Our ongoing successful involvement with Scape is especially important for us as all work undertaken has a direct positive impact on the lives of people in the community. Inverness Airport is growing at a steady pace with increasing passenger figures and a number of new routes planned and we are pleased that Kier can work with HIAL on its overall masterplan, benefiting the people and businesses of Inverness in the process.”

Inverness Airport general manager, Graeme Bell, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier Construction on this project, which forms part of a larger investment to increase terminal capacity and enhance the passenger experience at Inverness Airport.

“The airport has enjoyed sustained growth in recent years and, with further growth forecast this year, these improvements will ensure that passengers enjoy a better start to their journey. We look forward to working with the team at Kier Construction to deliver this important project, which comes at an exciting time for Inverness Airport.”

Scape Group chief executive, Mark Robinson, added: “Improving airport and transport infrastructure at places such as Inverness Airport is critical to Scotland’s economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our own research has shown that Scotland’s public sector is investing heavily in its built environment, and there is increasing demand for Scape’s frameworks in Scotland, where public sector organisations are seeing both the potential savings and the benefits for local communities.”

At a ‘ground breaking’ ceremony to mark the start of the main phase of construction, Fergus Ewing MSP, minister for business, energy and tourism, said: “These are exciting times for Inverness Airport and this investment, which will make real improvements to the passenger experience, is very timely with the airport expecting its busiest year on record.

“The terminal extension will allow the airport to house more passengers, offer new retail facilities and make the security process faster – all of these measures will no doubt be welcomed by travellers.

“Inverness Airport has experienced great success over the past few years, with new routes being won and passengers numbers continuing to rise. This work will ensure that the airport is able to build on that success, and I look forward to seeing the new facilities in action when they open for use in May.”

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