Work has commenced on a €15m facilities investment plan aimed at transforming Ireland West Airport Knock during the next three years.
The investment strategy will see the funding invested in new passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructural works across the airport facility and runway.
By the end of the first quarter of 2018, almost €4m worth of major infrastructural projects will have been completed. Between 2017 and 2019, many more major projects will be completed.
Outside, 250 car park spaces will be added, and a number plate recognition system introduced. Ground handling equipment and safety response vehicles too will be upgraded and replaced.
Indoors, the immigration and arrivals area will be remodeled, creating increased circulation space for arriving passengers. A Tourist Welcome Centre will be added here. Departures too will be overhauled, with additional seating capacity added. New digital display screens will be introduced, retail and catering upgraded, and toilet facilities remodeled.
This year, the airport has commenced a series of critical projects on the runway to maintain the highest standard of airport safety and operations. The work includes the replacement of existing runway lighting and fittings, a major airfield drainage programme, the upgrading of the runway’s instrument landing system and other minor site works. It is planned that in 2019 work will commence on a €10m plus overlay of the airports 2.5km runway.
This latest investment at the airport will also include a major enhancement of the airport experience from a visual perspective, with the introduction of a new and modern signage system throughout as well as the implementation of a new brand identity, helping to create a lighter and brighter passenger environment with a contemporary look and feel.
This transformation programme will provide a major boost for the local economy, with the airport utilising the services of a number of local contractors and suppliers to carry out some of these projects.
Joe Gilmore, managing director at Ireland West Airport, commented: “This latest facilities investment programme will adapt, modernise and transform the airport with contemporary elements and future-proof services. It will make the airport more efficient, provide greater flexibility and ensure an even more comfortable and easier journey through the airport.
“This is especially important at a time when we are experiencing passenger growth and working with our airline partners to introduce more choice in services for our customers. We believe these planned improvements will continue to grow our reputation as the faster, easier, friendlier airport of choice for those travelling to and from the West, Midlands and North West of Ireland.
“Investment in new facilities and in particular continued investment in safety and security ensures the operational environment of the airport will be future-proofed to meet the evolving airline and security needs and to ensure we have the infrastructure needed to handle more passengers and provide them with a positive experience whether arriving or departing as we enter the next phase in the airports development.
“I wish to express our gratitude for the continued support of our local authority partners and the Departments of Tourism, Transport and Sport and Rural and Community Development towards these developments. In addition, a thank you to our customers whose contributions, through the Airport Development Fee, provide a critical funding support for the airports development plans.”