VINCI Airports began operating the airport in 2015 under a 25-year French government concession awarded by the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) and the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
As one of France's three combined civil and military airports, Toulon Hyères requires day-to-day co-ordination between the VINCI Airports teams and the naval air base.
The upgrade works comprise:
– Renovation of the runways and taxiways
– Refurbishment of the airport's runway lighting system
– Work to bring the airport into compliance with the French water law
The work will be carried out by a joint venture bringing together the TP Spada (Eurovia) and Degreane (VINCI Energies) companies.
The €27.5 million upgrade, which includes €6.9 million in public funding, represents the largest investment in the airport since it was built in 1967.
The upgrade is part of VINCI Airports' promised investment programme in the gateway to help develop its potential in order to boost the appeal of the region it serves.
In the past four years, VINCI Airports has expanded Toulon Hyères Airport's route network with introduction of three new domestic routes (Lille, Nantes and Strasbourg) as well as new international services to Antwerp, Geneva and Southampton.
In addition, the business aviation activity (number of aircraft movements) has increased 20% since VINCI Airports took over the activity in January 2017.
VINCI notes that the successes are, in part, due to its close working relationship with local authorities – Métropole Toulon Provence Méditerranée, Agence de Développement Var Tourisme, and the South region.
All, it says, are working toward the common goal of continuing to enhance the Var department's appeal as a tourist destination and boost its international name recognition.
Along with these actions, particular attention is being paid to the airport's environmental performance. In September 2019, the airport was awarded ISO 14001 certification in recognition of its work to reduce its environmental footprint.
Initiatives have included the introduction of a fleet of electric runway vehicles, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations for airport users, aiming to install 100% LED lighting by 2020 and plastics recycling.
These activities resulted in a 6% reduction in per-passenger energy consumption and a 25% reduction in water consumption in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Toulon Hyères is also the first airport in France to test the Ground Power Unit, a zero-emission aircraft starter generator.
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and president of VINCI Airports, said: “The launch of this works programme reflects our commitment to the naval air base and the DGAC to expand Toulon Hyères Airport and make it the gateway to the Var and thus boost the department's prestige, in close and positive consultation with our local economic and tourist industry partners.”