Over £7 million is being invested in Southampton Airport over the next year to improve facilities. The developments aim to enhance the airport experience for the 2 million passengers a year who breeze through the region’s award-winning airport. Some of the developments include:
New restaurant & coffee facilities
The airports restaurant and café in the main concourse, and upstairs in the departure lounge will be completely refurbished at a cost of over £3 million. Construction began this month in two phases, with the first new landside restaurant and Costa Coffee being unveiled at the end of the year, and the airside outlets before summer 2010.
The new restaurants will be named after the aircraft designer, RJ Mitchell, who built the Spitfire aircraft and tested the prototype at Southampton Airport in 1936. ‘Mitchell’s Kitchen & Bar’ will provide a fresh new restaurant feel and bespoke menus specifically created with the time-conscious traveller in mind. New additions include continental beers, contemporary cocktails and high quality coffee.
Improved access for rail passengers
A new footbridge has been installed adjacent to the airport terminal, at a cost of over £2 million. The covered walkway has lift access, making access to and from the airport significantly easier for passengers with luggage, children or reduced mobility. Developed in partnership with South West Trains, the bridge is a significant improvement for passengers who are increasingly using Southampton Airport as a fast link to access London (just 66 minutes away) and the south coast. Passengers from the Channel Islands and regional destinations such as Bergerac and Berne use Southampton Airport as their main air link to the UK.
Energy saving initiatives
The airport’s air conditioning units have been replaced due to old age. The new units are around 50% more efficient than the previous equipment and will be run at optimal levels to reduce energy consumption. The new equipment cost £400,000 and will keep the airport comfortably cool for passengers and staff.
The airport’s roof glazing will be replaced early next year, to provide a lighter and brighter terminal. The new glazing brings environmental benefits, as it has special coating to reflect sunlight. Around 33% of the heat gained from the sun will be eliminated, meaning less energy will be needed for air cooling.
£55,000 has been invested in lighting controls within the short stay car park to provide greater control over the lighting being used. Sensors will allow individual lights to be switched off when not required.
New toilet facilities with water and energy saving systems
From early 2010, passengers will be using brand new toilets facilities at Southampton Airport, which replace the 15 year old fixtures installed when the terminal first opened in 1994. The £830,000 new facilities will have a fresh new look, more units and environmental benefits. Basins will have built in infra-red activated taps reducing water usage and the hand driers are some of the most efficient systems available, reducing energy use. The departure lounge and the arrivals hall will be redeveloped first, with the main concourse being completed during 2010.
Kevin Brown, Managing Director of Southampton Airport, commented: “The investment of over £7 million in the next year is fantastic news in the current economic climate. All of the developments aim to enhance the easy, fast and friendly nature of the airport, and has incorporated customer feedback to ensure our passengers have the best possible airport experience. It is particularly poignant that a lot of these improvements will be completed in 2010, which is Southampton Airport’s centenary year.”