Jersey Airport redevelopments
A major redevelopment project to improve the airside departures lounge at Jersey Airport has commenced. The new passenger facilities will offer an enlarged Duty Free outlet as well as relocation and upgrade of the bar area and restaurant facilities, as well as an improved environment that provides a more fitting positive lasting impression of Jersey.
The works, which represent an overall investment of £4 million, will be carried out in stages with overall completion expected in time for the main summer season 2009.
The opportunity to improve and expand the facilities has arisen as a result of a number of changes made in recent years to the departures hall, including the successful re-location of security in 2007 which has created a larger area within the departures lounge. As a result, the additional space available for retail will increase by up to 50% whilst still maintaining sufficient services and seating areas for passengers.
Changes to the ownership arrangements of principal concessionaires, Alpha Group, have also taken place in recent months. WH Smith has taken over the former World News operation, while Alpha, which has operated the Duty Free and catering services have been acquired by one of the world’s largest airport concessionaires, Autogrill, which will operate in Jersey as World Duty Free. As a result of these changes, the concessionaires wish to make a substantial investment to upgrade their respective retail and catering offerings.
There has been minimal investment in the retail and catering side of the business at Jersey Airport in recent years, and the Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean is confident the redevelopment will be a major boost for Jersey Airport. He said, “We have seized this opportunity presented to us by our concessionaires to upgrade the airside facilities, realising that if no investment is made, the existing revenue base will either become static or decline. This would place considerable pressure on Jersey Airport to increase passenger charges and place greater pressure on the airport’s operating surpluses. In this respect and in light of the current economic climate, doing nothing is simply not an option”.
As well as the current concessionaires, additional space has been allocated to allow up to three new retailers to open up within the departures lounge area. Expressions of Interest have been issued and the airport is currently considering a number of proposals from prospective tenants. It is expected these new retail outlets will open in 2009.
CEO of World Duty Free, Mark Riches is enthusiastic about the project and said, “We are delighted to support the development of Jersey Airport’s retail space with a brand new World Duty Free store, bringing to the airport the very best of what we do. With a total investment on our part of £1.5million and occupying just over 7,000 square feet, the newly created store will offer travellers an exciting shopping environment with great products, underpinned by real value. Amongst the vast array of products on offer, many are new and exclusive to World Duty Free and there are some fantastic new cosmetics and luxury brands”.
Runway Project Nearing Completion
This news comes as the major programme of works to resurface and strengthen the runway at Jersey Airport is nearing completion and likely to be finished, on schedule, by Easter 2009.
The actual resurfacing and re-profiling of the runway was completed in December 2008, which therefore saw a decrease in the large number of contractors and machinery on site. Subsequent aspects of the project, including the fitting and servicing of the new runway lights were completed in February. During the same period the asphalt plant was dismantled and removed.
However, due to inclement weather in January and early February night work was temporarily suspended but resumed on 9 March to allow essential ground works and maintenance to be completed. This work includes reseeding of the grass area towards the eastern end of the runway. However, noise levels have been kept to a minimum as a result of the tractor type of machinery being used to complete the work.
With an allocated budget of £19.5 million, the runway works commenced in September 2008 and were expected to continue until spring. Work is on schedule and within budget.
All normal operating hours at Jersey Airport will be resumed following the overall completion of the project.