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€15mn investment plan announced for Knock Airport

Ireland’s West Airport has commenced work on its €15mn passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructure investment plan, which will transform the airport over the next three years.

By the end of the first quarter of 2018 almost €4mn worth of major infrastructural projects to improve the operational efficiency and to upgrade and enhance the airports facilities and services will have been completed.

Ireland West Airport Managing Director Joe Gilmore said: “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 resilience to the passengers 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 traveling to and from the West, Midlands and North West of Ireland.”

This year the airport has commenced a series of critical projects on the airport’s runway to maintain the highest standard of airport safety and operations.

The work includes replacement of existing runway lighting and fittings, a major airfield drainage programme, upgrading of the runway’s instrument landing system and other minor site works.

Projects to be completed between 2017 and 2019 include resurfacing of Car Park Zone 5 resulting in 250 permanent surfaced car park spaces less than five minutes’ walk from the terminal.

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A major upgrade of existing car park equipment to the latest state-of-the-art equipment including the introduction of a number plate recognition system, and construction and re-modelling of new toilet facilities at the airport.

The most significant investment, however, is the €10mn upgrade and overlay of the airport’s 2.5km runway, which is 30 years old.

The upgrade work, scheduled for 2019, will extend the life of the runway by 15-20 years, according to tender documents.

Additionally, the airport plans to increase the pavement classification number of the runway, which will allow it accommodate “current and future anticipated aircraft size”.

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 way finding signage system throughout the airport as well as the implementation of a new brand identity, helping to create a combination of a lighter and brighter passenger environment and contemporary look and feel throughout the airport terminal.

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.

The project as a whole is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

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