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DIGEST FROM ISSUE NR. 1202, PUBLISHED ON 25 SEPTEMBER 2023
Riga Airport in Latvia is preparing for the construction of a new terminal building. The new facility will include modern passenger check-in facilities, security and border control areas, shops, cafes, baggage handling facilities, new access roads for transport, a multi-story car park, and a connection to the Rail Baltica station. The project, known as stage 6 of the airport's development, will cover over 45,000 m2 and is estimated to cost EUR 167 million.
The airport is currently engaging in discussions with potential construction procurement applicants to develop comprehensive and high-quality documentation for the project. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2024 in several successive stages to minimize disruptions to airport operations. You can find more documentation here.
Aena, the operator of Spanish airports, is planning to double the size of the Córdoba Airport terminal in Andalucía through an expansion and renovation project. The project will cost EUR 2.3 million and involves constructing a new building connected to the existing terminal, effectively doubling the current floor space to over 1,000 m2.
Modular construction methods will be used to reduce construction timelines and environmental impact. Key areas like the departure lounge, baggage collection, and departure hall will be refurbished and expanded.
The project aims to accommodate increased airline interest in operating at Córdoba Airport and will also improve resources and access. The project is expected to take about a year once the construction contract is awarded.
The Romanian Government has approved a resolution for the continuation of the modernization program at Timişoara's "Traian Vuia" Airport. The plan includes the construction of a new international terminal, rehabilitation and expansion of the aircraft apron, rehabilitation of the runway and construction of rapid-exit taxiways, development of an intermodal logistics centre, passenger parking, construction of a hotel and office spaces, expansion and modernization of aircraft movement areas, the installation of a 7 MW photovoltaic park, and the digitalization of airport activities.
This initiative is part of the Strategic Development and Modernization Program for Timişoara International Airport covering the period 2023-2032. The funding for these projects will come from various sources, including the beneficiary's own funds, loans, the state budget, and legally established sources.
Russia & C.I.S.
The Russian State Expert Examination Board (Glavgosexpertiza) has given a positive assessment for the construction of a new airport terminal at Orenburg International Airport. This project, alongside the renovation of the airport's runway, aims to increase the capacity to 600 passengers per hour for domestic flights and 400 for international flights.
The new terminal has five floors and covers a total area of 24,187 m2. The terminal will boast two MARS stands. Each stand can accommodate one Boeing 767-300 aircraft or two Airbus A321-200 aircraft or smaller classes. Passengers will board and disembark using boarding bridges.
The developer is Orenburg International Airport JSC, and the general designer is the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "State Design and Research Institute of Civil Aviation" (Aeroproject).
The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has secured over USD 60 million in federal funding for Rhode Island's public airports in Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). The funding allocation includes:
- USD 2,525,248 for Aircraft Apron Expansion at Block Island State Airport.
- USD 42,970,816 for Runway 16-34 Reconstruction and Rehabilitation at Quonset State Airport.
- USD 10,900,903 for Taxiway C Reconstruction at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport.
- USD 1,611,096 for Utility Improvements, Grading, and Environmental Assessments for air cargo facilities at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport.
- USD 1,000,000 for Apron Rehabilitation at North Central State Airport.
- USD 1,835,300 for Security and Wildlife Fencing at Westerly State Airport.
Bristol Group Inc., a San Francisco-based real estate investment and development firm, plans to construct a 261,000-ft2 cold storage warehouse at Philadelphia International Airport (Pennsylvania). The facility will be part of the airport's ongoing USD 1.2 billion air cargo facility expansion. Located on a 16.8-acre vacant parcel on the northeast side of the airport's property, the facility will be adjacent to the airport's tarmac and provide immediate access to Interstate-95's four-way interchange. It will primarily house cargo related to pharmaceuticals, life sciences, perishable food, and specialized electronics, serving the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025 as part of the airport's broader expansion efforts.
Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) is undergoing significant expansion due to population and economic growth in the region. The airport is currently working on its terminal modernization project, a major construction project on the passenger terminal, which will expand capacity, improve passenger traffic flow into and out of the terminal, and greatly improve vertical circulation between the first and second floors with new elevators and escalators. The airport is also in the process of upgrading all of its baggage handling facilities, including new baggage carousels.
Currently, design work is being undertaken on the expansion of the fuel farm, a new communications centre, and a new air traffic control tower. These projects are expected to start construction in 2024. Projects scheduled for the mid- and late 2020s include the construction of a new western concourse, renovation of Concourse A, expansion of the baggage claim hall, and the construction of a consolidated car rental facility.
The airport has acquired 350 acres of land for future terminal expansion and plans to purchase an additional 400-500 acres soon. Long-term plans include a third runway although that might still be 25 years away.
The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport authority (Idaho) board has approved a USD 100,000 study, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to assess whether the airport's terminal should be remodelled or replaced. The existing terminal was built in 1960 and underwent a significant renovation in 1994. Airport Director Michael Isaacs noted that terminal upgrades typically take around five years to complete from the start of an initial study. The study aims to evaluate the current condition of the terminal, with no specific design proposals at this stage. Board Chairman Gary Peters emphasized the need for the study, given that the terminal's infrastructure, including heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, and electrical components, is aging and in need of attention. The availability of federal infrastructure funding makes this an opportune time to consider potential improvements or replacements for the terminal.
Palm Springs International Airport (California) is planning a substantial expansion to accommodate the rising passenger demand, expected to reach around 6 million by 2042. Currently having 18 gates, the airport's last master plan did not recommend adding new ones, prompting the need for expansion. Four concepts for remodelling existing portions and constructing new structures have been presented.
The planning process is expected to take three years, with public feedback sought during an open house. Funding may be sought from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The city council will vote on the final master plan in 2025.
Latin America & The Caribbean
Aena has planned various infrastructure improvements at the Brazilian airports it is about to take over later this year. On 13 October, Aena Brasil is scheduled to begin permanent operations at Campo Grande International Airport. The company will also assume management of two other airports in Mato Grosso do Sul, starting in November, on the 7th and 10th of the month, in Ponta Porã and Corumbá, respectively.
Upon assuming full control of Campo Grande, Aena will commence infrastructure improvements, including expanding passenger and baggage processing capacity, providing a commercial aircraft apron with 11 positions for Code C commercial aircraft (such as Airbus 320 and Boeing 737-800), installing a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) visual indicator system on runway thresholds, accommodating non-precision approach operations for Code C aircraft, constructing a new runway if necessary, creating a rapid exit taxiway, and implementing 100% baggage, cargo, and mail security inspection, as per ANAC regulations.
Similar obligations will apply to Ponta Porã and Corumbá airports, with Aena Brasil responsible for infrastructure improvements to accommodate a minimum demand of 220 passengers per hour for boarding and disembarking, equivalent to 1.3 times the seating capacity of the largest aircraft operating at the airports between the 23rd and 34th months of the concession.
Additionally, the company will provide a new aircraft apron with 4 positions for Code C aircraft, install a visual approach indicator system at the runway thresholds, ensure operations with Code C and lower aircraft without requiring special operational procedures due to infrastructure inadequacy, and complete any necessary new runway construction within 60 months.
Martin Miguel de Güemes International Airport in Salta has officially started renovation works that will increase the airport's passenger terminal by 65%. The improvements will be focused on the public areas, including check-in, control zones, boarding, and arrivals. The project is being carried out by the National Airport System Regulatory Authority (ORSNA) with a budget of approximately ARS 17 billion (USD 49 million) and is expected to take 25 months.
The enhancements aim to upgrade services and accommodate more operations while the airport continues to operate throughout the construction process. Salta is a major hub for air traffic in northern Argentina, and the airport plays a significant role in connecting the region to other parts of the country and international destinations.
The issue of restarting Qlayaat Airport in northern Lebanon has gained renewed attention due to the urgent need to strengthen the country's air transport sector. The Qlayaat Airport, also known as the Rene Mouawad Air Base, in northern Lebanon has the potential to revitalize the region's economy and tourism. It is situated about a 3-hour car ride away from the main international airport in Beirut.
The airport has a history of serving as a transport hub for an oil company and later the Lebanese military, experiencing growth and modernization until the Civil War disrupted its operations. In 2011 and 2012, there were discussions about reopening the airport for cargo planes and low-cost airlines, which would significantly improve transportation links to the region. However, as of now, the airport remains unused.
The reopening of Qlayaat Airport is expected between 2024 and 2025, requiring technical, administrative, and legal studies. The airport will be privatized through the BOT system, aligning with international aviation standards.
Lebanon is working on a comprehensive transportation plan for air, land, and sea transport, with the aim of launching it in 2024 in partnership with the private sector.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to add 160 aircraft parking stands at 27 airports within the next two years to enhance air connectivity. This expansion aims to accommodate the increasing number of domestic airlines adding aircraft to meet growing demand. The bays are suitable for Code 'C' type aircraft, ranging from ATR-72 to Airbus A321. Amritsar, Goa, Kolkata, and Patna, which are among the top twenty airports for domestic passenger traffic, will see the addition of aircraft bays. Amritsar and Kolkata will have the increase in 2023, while Goa and Patna will get new parking stands next year. Other airports like Leh, Raipur, and Tirupati will also receive additional parking stands. This capacity expansion aligns with the government's regional connectivity scheme and is expected to support the doubling of the combined fleet size of Indian airlines to 1,400 by FY30.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the expansion of the civil enclave project in Agra airport, upgrading it to an international capable facility. Works include the construction of a civil passenger terminal building covering 30,000 m2, with work expected to be completed in 36 months.
Airports of Thailand (AoT) has allocated a budget of THB 140 billion (USD 3.9 billion) for two major airport projects. The first project involves the construction of Andaman International Airport in Phangnga province, aimed at supplementing the existing Phuket and Krabi airports. The new airport will be situated on approximately 960 hectares of land in Thakua Thung district, on land already owned by the government.
The new airport will initially have two runways and will be capable of handling 40 million passengers annually. The new airport’s construction will be split into two phases, with the first phase allowing the airport to serve 15 million passengers annually.
AOT President Kerati Kijmanawat said the agency aims to start the project as soon as possible. He confirmed that AoT will initiate another feasibility study, which will include an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), before the year ends. The research is anticipated to take eight months.
After its completion, the project will proceed to the design phase of investment specifics, such as area boundaries, construction methods, budget, and an EIA report. The project will then be submitted to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB) for approval, before being presented to the Cabinet for consideration. The detailed design process and approval request are estimated to take three years before the project is opened to bidding. The airport’s construction will approximately take four years, reported The Phuket News. The entire procedure is expected to last seven years, with hopes that the airport in Khok Kloi will be operational to serve tourists by 2030-2031.
The decision to proceed with the new airport in Phang Nga has yet to be publicly confirmed by PM Srettha, the Cabinet, and the new Minister for Tourism and Sports, Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol.
AOT is also preparing a feasibility study for the construction of a second airport for Chiang Mai, which is be built on a land plot covering about 11 square kilometres in Ban Thi district of the adjacent province of Lamphun. The new airport will require an investment of THB 70 billion (USD 1.95 billion) and will require 7 years to complete. The airport is not likely to open before the capacity of the current airport has been maximized. The current airport is being expanded to handle up to 20 million passengers annually.
The total number of China's certified general aviation airports is expected to reach 500 by 2025, according to a report released by the country's leading aircraft maker.
China will strive to achieve the goal of each of the country's 2,800 county-level regions having its own general aviation airport, said Cao He, director of the civil aircraft engineering research centre under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), at the 6th China Helicopter Exposition held in Tianjin.
The number of general airports in China had reached 399 by the end of 2022, about 1.6 times more than the number of civil transport airports in the country.
The operator of Incheon International Airport in Seoul has announced a project to modernize Terminal 1, which is over 20 years old, with a budget of KRW 1.2 trillion (USD 902.2 million). The renovation work will commence in April next year and is expected to be completed by June 2033. This project is necessary because 80 percent of the terminal's machinery, electrical, and communication systems have become outdated, and it needs upgrades to meet current fire and earthquake safety standards. The renovation will also include improvements to the smoke extraction system and the replacement of the security screening facility. The goal is to increase the annual number of travellers using Terminal 1 by 10 percent, aiming to reach 54 million passengers. The renovation will be carried out in sections to minimize customer inconvenience.
Cheongju International is considering building a new international passenger terminal. The airport also plans to build a civilian-exclusive runway—the current runway is shared with the military—and enhance commercial facilities, such as duty-free shops.
This expansion aims to prepare Cheongju International Airport for a more significant role in the region and support the broader tourism industry.
Management, Ownership & Finance
Greece plans to list Athens International Airport, the country's largest, on its stock exchange in the coming year, according to Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. Shareholders have approved the sale of a 30% stake currently held by the privatisation agency HRADF. This move was initially scheduled for the first half of this year. The shareholders have also signed an agreement, allowing Germany-based manager AviAlliance to acquire an additional 10% stake, while HRADF's remaining 20% will be sold through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Athens Stock Exchange. Greece's efforts to divest assets, improve its fiscal situation, and attract investment have been successful in recent years, leading to a credit rating upgrade. The government aims to maintain fiscal targets and reduce public debt further. Additionally, measures are being introduced to combat tax evasion and encourage digital payments for property transactions.
Polskie Porty Lotnicze (PPL), the owner of Warsaw's Chopin Airport (Poland), has become a part of the CPK Capital Group, which also owns airports in Radom and Zielona Góra, and has stakes in several other regional airports. The integration of Polskie Porty Lotnicze into CPK is now complete, and CPK will oversee funding and coordination for the construction of Warsaw’s
Central Communication Port (CPK), a planned transport hub between Warsaw and Łódź, integrating air, rail, and road transportation.
This merger aims to create a strong capital group managing key state-owned airport assets, enhance CPK's dominance in the European region, and improve infrastructure, including relocating Chopin Airport to a better location with higher standards and more jobs.
CPK is entirely owned by the State Treasury, and Polskie Porty Lotnicze operates Warsaw Chopin Airport and holds stakes in various regional airports across Poland.
German airport operator Fraport is in discussions to sell its 25% stake in Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport (LED) by the end of 2023, according to Russian financial newspaper Vedomosti. These talks were mentioned by the chairman of Russia's state-owned bank VTB. Fraport had previously issued a statement condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and had been reviewing its equity stake in the Russian airport. While Fraport values its stake at around EUR 111 million, the Russian government has imposed penalties on foreign companies divesting from Russian holdings.
Major airport management companies in Russia, such as Airport of the Regions and Novaport, have shown interest in buying Fraport's stake, along with potential foreign bidders. Pulkovo Airport posted a profit of RUB 4.8 billion (USD 50 million) in 2022, making it one of Russia's busiest airports, potentially surpassing Moscow airports to become the second busiest in 2023.
Indian Adani Airports Holdings is likely to be the first of the Adani Group's incubating businesses to be demerged and listed, expected to happen by late 2025 or early 2026. This subsidiary operates eight airports, with the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport expected to be operational by December 2024.
The Navi Mumbai airport, when fully functional by 2032, will have the capacity to handle 90 million passengers, double the capacity of existing airports in Mumbai. The Adani Group plans to spin off its hydrogen, airports, and data centre businesses between 2025 and 2028 once they reach a certain size. Adani Enterprises will invest about USD 1.1 billion each in the airport business in FY24 and FY25, mainly for the Navi Mumbai airport's construction. In FY23, the airports under the group handled 75 million passengers, with expectations to reach 83 million in the current year.
The airport unit reported a revenue of INR 16.64 billion in the June quarter, with a year-on-year growth of 35%. Despite lower profit and loss before tax and interest compared to the previous year, the airports business showed improvement. In FY23, revenue from the airports was INR 59.51 billion, with a PBIT of INR 4.53 billion. Adani Enterprises serves as the incubator for various businesses within the Adani Group, with the most recent listing being Adani Wilmar in February 2022, a company in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
The group or bidders that offers the largest portion of their revenue to the government for managing Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (The Philippines) will win the contract to operate and maintain the airport, according to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista. Six groups have expressed interest in the PHP 170.6-billion NAIA Public-Private Partnership project, including GMR Airports International, San Miguel Holdings Corp., and others. The winning bidder must make an upfront payment of PHP 30 billion, pay an annual PHP 2-billion annuity, and share a percentage of their revenues with the government. The decision will primarily be based on the revenue-sharing offer, and the project aims to improve NAIA's capacity and passenger experience. Prospective bidders have until December 27, 2023, to submit their proposals.
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