More than €18.9 million will be invested in the development, and work is set to be completed around the start of 2018.
The revamp will see the expansion of departures lounge, new catering and retail space, international arrivals improvements, a new expanded security search area, and increased executive lounge capacity.
Airport MD, Carol Benzie, got the project started and marked the beginning of the demolition phase at the beginning of this week, but work has been taking place for some months on ‘enabling projects’ - smaller pieces of work that clear some space and allow for phase one to begin.
These enabling projects include new check-in desks, the building of a new vestibule and terminal entrance, the relocation of some stores before security and the introduction of a new catering outlet which is due to be open and operational next month.
The demolition of what was the DHL building next to the main terminal, and the relocation of services, which in turn clears the land required for the extension of the building.
Benzie says: “We got the green light for this transformation nearly a year ago, and we have been working on the plans for nearly three years and so it felt great to finally be able to say we are off the ground.
“The tenders for the main construction phase are now out and we are all looking forward to seeing the construction phase begin next.”
Much of phase one will happen out of the public view, and as such the airport has set up a dedicated web page and web-cam to allow everyone to watch the works as they progress.
John Deffenbaugh, head of terminal transformation and leading this legacy project, which is set to transform each area of the customer airport experience when complete, says: “We know that the terminal is a very busy place and the main objective of this project is to create more space to ensure that passengers can make their way through our airport in comfort.
“We will extend the terminal by 30% to create new immigration and international arrivals facilities, together with executive lounges upstairs. We will then reconfigure the existing terminal, creating a larger security search area and increasing the size of the departure lounge by almost 70%.
“More space is something that our passengers consistently tell us they want and the project is a fantastic opportunity to deliver on this. It is exciting to watch the initial demolition works get started after months of planning.”