Bologna Airport has unveiled plans to start work on a €30 million terminal refurbishment in two weeks time.
Speaking to Airport World at the second day of Smart Airports conference in Munich, Stefano Gardini, director of non-aviation business at the gateway said the aim of the project is to expand capacity, enlarge the boarding area and give the airport a large main entrance.
As part of the refurbishment, the commercial area will also be increased by 50%, with the Heinemann Group opening a new duty free store at the gateway.
The expansion will make Bologna Airport capable of handling 10mppa, a figure that it hopes to reach by 2020, according to Gardini.
Last year Bologna Airport handled 5.3mppa, and is expected to handle 6mppa by the end of 2011. Gardini added that the airport has seen 40% in the last four years alone.
The project will expand the arrivals area and see an increased number of check in facilities to 64. There will also be 10 new security stations and 24 gates.
Gardini said: “There are two main objectives to the project. Firstly to make the terminal more efficient in terms of passenger flows and processes and secondly to improve the passenger experience.
“One of the drivers of a good passengers’ experience is related to the ability of an airport to reassure them from constant stress. To be reassured is a strong psychological need that sometimes passengers are not aware of”.
As a result the airport is also investing in new technologies such as SMS flight information and screens that will inform passengers of the time remaining until their flight is boarding.
The refurbishment is expected to be completed within the next 24 months, Gardini added, and it is part of a larger master plan for Bologna Airport, which will see a new replacement terminal built in the next 7-9 years.