New ter­mi­nal for Athens air­port

In­crease in traf­fic has dic­tated the op­er­a­tion of the satel­lite build­ing, start­ing from the end of the year

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY VAN­GE­LIS MANDRAVELIS

Athens In­ter­na­tional Air­port (AIA) in­tends to tackle a spike in in­com­ing traf­fic with the op­er­a­tion of a third ter­mi­nal sta­tion by the end of this year. This is the ter­mi­nal that un­til now op­er­ated only to cover the peak days of the sum­mer sea­son.

Kathimerini un­der­stands that AIA in­tends to start op­er­at­ing the satel­lite ter­mi­nal on a per­ma­nent ba­sis, and to this end the nec­es­sary prepa­ra­tions have al­ready been made with the cre­ation of wait­ing rooms, shops, etc.

The aim of this move is to meet new de­mand lev­els, as AIA will then be able to han­dle pas­sen­ger vol­ume com­ing to 26 mil­lion peo­ple a year.

The op­er­a­tion of the new ter­mi­nal is fore­seen in the air­port’s De­vel­op­ment Con­tract dat­ing to 1995. This dic­tates that once AIA reaches the 90 per­cent thresh­old of its an­nual ca­pac­ity of 21 mil­lion pas­sen­gers for 12 con­sec­u­tive months it will have to ex­pand its op­er­at­ing in­stal­la­tions. That “trig­ger point” was reached in July 2016, as in the 12 months from Au­gust 2015 the sum of 18.9 mil­lion was achieved.

An in­de­pen­dent study by the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) showed that once the satel­lite ter­mi­nal, which will likely be named “Ter­mi­nal C” starts op­er­at­ing, AIA will be able to han­dle 26 mil­lion pas­sen­gers per year and they will re­ceive the Op­ti­mum Level of Ser­vice of IATA across all of the air­port’s sub­sys­tems.

Users of the new ter­mi­nal will not suf­fer any in­con­ve­nience by the change, as the satel­lite build­ing will of­fer them equal va­ri­ety and qual­ity of ser­vices to the rest of the air­port. The question, ac- 853.54 -1.1417 cord­ing to AIA of­fi­cials, is whether air com­pa­nies will in­deed make use of the fa­cil­i­ties of­fered, while it might also take a lit­tle longer to move from ter­mi­nal to ter­mi­nal.

The satel­lite ter­mi­nal is ac­tu­ally not at all new: it has been there since the orig­i­nal con­struc­tion of the air­port, how­ever it was spruced up a dec­o­rated, along with the ad­di­tion of more in­fra­struc­tures for serv­ing pas­sen­gers, in the last few months.

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