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The Larnaca International Airport expands July 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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LARNACA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LCA/LCLK), CYPRUS

Larnaca Airport is situated in the Republic of Cyprus about 5km south of the City of Lanarca. The airport is undergoing a major expansion to take account of a significant growth in traffic in recent years.

Between 1985 and 2000, the growth rate in passenger movements was higher than the European Union average. In 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000 passenger movements were 0.82, 1.39, 1.80 and 2.38 million respectively. As of early 2006, Larnaca handles 800 flights per month and 2.5 million passengers per year. The airport is the largest in Cyprus, and a key destination for holidaymakers going to the popular resort of Ayia Napa, just 46km from the airport’s location.

The airport has 30 international airlines and 30 charter airlines using it at present. One of the major operators is Cyprus Airways who have a significant stake in the duty free and retail operations at the airport.

TERMINAL CONSTRUCTION

The time-scale of the project to construct a new terminal is still unclear but the most optimistic set the date for the new terminal opening as 2007-08. In March 2001, the Ministry of Communication and Work announced that the Cypriot government would begin the procedure of short listing within six weeks.

At the start of the bidding process 23 consortia had expressed an interest in building the new terminal and operating both Lanarca and Paphos airports for a term of 25 years on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) arrangement.

By November 2003, negotiations had whittled this down to just three. These were Alterra (originally the preferred bidder), consisting of Barclays Private equity, Bechtel, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lanitis EC Estates, Amathus Navigation Co Ltd, Cybarco and Caramondi Bros; Hermes, consisting of Aer Rianta, CTC, Charilados Apostolides, Egis Projects and Iacovou Bros, Bouygues Batiment and Chambre de Commerce D’Industrie Nice Cote D’Azur; and the Cyprus Airports Group, comprising BAA and J&P.

The government originally negotiated with Alterra because they were offering the largest portion of the royalties for the airport operation (49%). After six months negotiations fell through and the terminal construction was set back at least 12 months.

The Cypriot government continued negotiations with Hermes, the second preferred bidder, who were only offering 33% royalties. The Hermes negotiations were successful and although construction was only started in 2004 Hermes and the Cypriot government are confident of having the new terminal ready by 2008.

The Hermes consortium has had to invest CYP200 million ($424 million) in the project as part of the agreement. The new terminal design will be a ‘finger’ style with 13 air bridges leading into a central concourse. Outside of the terminal there are plans for a 1,750-space car park for private cars, rental cars, taxis, buses and staff car parking.

The Department of Civil Aviation envisages that the construction of the new airport facilities at Larnaca will make the airport capable of handling 10 million passengers, rising to 15 million by 2015. It is hoped this will allow the airport to take full advantage of its geographical position, which makes it ideal for airline connections from Europe and the USA,to and from the Near East, the Middle East and the Far East.

RUNWAY EXPANSION AND AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS

In 1999, work was completed on an extension to the runway, thereby increasing the number of landing slots for a greater variety of aircraft. At that time the check-in area was extended in the terminal, the parking aprons were reconstructed, the parking apron for light aviation was extended and the public car park was extended.

The growth in passenger numbers was still relentless and a master plan was developed by ADP and Sofreavia for the development of a new terminal building.

OLD TERMINAL DEVELOPMENT

Development of the old terminal has been successful in improving the existing facilities, and this has alleviated some of the problems associated with the process of airport expansion in the short-term.

Cyprus Airways awarded SITA a five-year contract for a Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system to enable shared check-in and boarding across 65 workstations (48 check-in stations, nine gates, four transfers and four arrivals). SITA has provided a complete IT solution, including the software platform, maintenance, the installation of the equipment and initial training.

CUTE provides standardised workstations for airports, enabling the airline or its handling agent to access its application in real-time at positions throughout the airport. Additional benefits include Automated Ticket and Boarding (ATB) technology to speed up check-in and gate reconciliation processes, enabling airlines to switch handling agents and/or terminals. This system has been successful in speeding up processes and increasing airport capacity at check-in and departure for travellers while the new airport terminal is under consideration.

In addition, a new Flight Information Display system (FIDs) has made communication of flight information to the passengers a great deal easier.

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