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Jersey Airport's £42 million transformation begins

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A £42 MILLION project to radically transform the Airport has begun, with the partial demolition of the site’s original 1930s arrivals hall due to start in a matter of months.

The check-in area with escalator up to security and departures area. Picture: Ports of Jersey (26891315)

Contractors have moved in to begin stripping out parts of the building and passengers are being asked to bear with airport authorities while a temporary arrivals area is established.

Picture: Ports of Jersey (26891313)

Later, in spring, the existing passenger pier – the area where travellers board flights – will begin to be demolished and a two-storey replacement will be built in its place.

Major changes are also due to take place outside, with the introduction of a 30-metre vehicle-exclusion zone around the Airport buildings and a new drop-off and pick-up area.

Then, next year, a new mezzanine floor will be constructed in the departures area which will accommodate a new security zone, along with a new passenger waiting and retail space.

Picture: Ports of Jersey (26891317)

During November 2021, contractors will begin the construction of a new arrivals and baggage reclaim area within the current departure building.

And once the final stage of the project is completed, any trace of the original arrivals building will disappear for good.

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Speaking to the media for the first time, Matt Thomas, Ports of Jersey’s new chief executive, said that it was an exciting time for the Airport.

He said that there would be ‘stunning’ views on offer for departing passengers.

‘It is absolutely an objective of mine and the most successful airports around the world capture the spirit of their local environment,’ he said.

‘The Jersey identity is so strong. You see it when you fly into Jersey. It is not just another city anywhere in the world – it is this amazing island.

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‘How we can make the departing and arriving experience capture that spirit is not just for Ports of Jersey to do on its own. We will be looking to take input from a diverse set of stakeholders.’

Picture: Ports of Jersey (26891322)

Mr Thomas, who has previously worked for Vancouver, Larnaca and Liverpool airports, and played a leading role in the $4 billion redevelopment of New York’s LaGuardia, asked for Islanders’ patience while work took place.

‘To accommodate the construction that is taking place, the arrivals will move slightly closer to the departures terminal,’ Mr Thomas said.

‘It will be for a period of time until the project is completed. What we are asking is for our passengers to bear with us.

‘It is a big construction project and the prize at the end of it is completely worth it.’

During Ports of Jersey’s Future Airport consultation, some Islanders asked whether air-bridges could be installed within the new terminal to shelter passengers from bad weather during boarding and disembarkation.

However, Mr Thomas said that airlines preferred these not to be in place, as they slowed turnaround times.

He added that there were not likely to be any similar measures put in place.

‘There is a practical challenge. If you have covered areas where the aircraft is parked, then there needs to be separation between the nose of the aircraft, so it is very difficult to do,’ he said. ‘A challenge for us in Ports of Jersey is how do we do the thinking for our passengers and make the experience as good as it can be, but also recognise the operational constraints of how the airlines take off and land.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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