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Atkins wins Birmingham Airport contracts

By John Corser | Business Picks | Published:

Expansion plans at Birmingham Airport have moved a step forward.

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has been appointed to a series of contracts at the airport to manage the upgrade and extension of terminals.

It will also oversee the airfield reconfiguration, as part the airport’s master plan to secure the future of air transport in the Midlands.

The announcement, made at the MIPIM real estate conference in Cannes, explained how, over the next five years, Atkins will assist Birmingham Airport in replacing and upgrading its current assets, using innovative technology to prepare the airport for the future demand on air travel.

Atkins is overseeing the first phase of the terminal expansion as project manager and lead designer.

In the terminal there will be a larger departures lounge with more toilets, public seating, shops, bars and restaurants and with a glazed mezzanine, introducing natural light.

On the ground floor, the check in area will be improved to provide more space and the latest bag-drop technology to improve service for passengers. The ground floor will also see a new back-of-house baggage sorting area intended to improve operational efficiency. A string of baggage handling problems have tarnished the airport's reputation in recent years, although there were significant improvements this summer.

Money will also be spent on enlarging the airport's security area, while a new arrivals area should also provide a better passenger experience.

As part of the aim to handle more passengers, the airport will change the layout of its existing aircraft stands – the parking bays for passenger jets while they load and unload passengers and cargo – and build additional new stands, taking the airport from 58 operational stands today to 69 by 2033.

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Announcing the news from France, Birmingham Airport’s chief executive Nick Barton said, “Our master plan looks ahead to the year 2033 and outlines how the airport will develop the site to handle the 40 per cent expected growth in passengers.

" A significant element of the £500 million investment over the next 14 years is the terminal transformation project, to deliver a world-class terminal facility for our customers that can cater for the growth in demand. We are therefore delighted to have awarded Atkins the contract for the lead design and project management for this package of works and we look forward to working in collaboration with them.”

Mike McNicholas, managing director for Infrastructure at Atkins, said: “The transformation of Birmingham Airport will bring improved connectivity and economic prosperity to the region. We look forward to working closely with Birmingham Airport and their stakeholders on this project, applying the latest technology and our human centred design approach in new and exciting ways to inform the airport’s transformation at this early stage.”

In 2018, Atkins deployed innovative technology to minimise the future disruption of work to the airport. This was achieved through virtual reality technology and the creation of a fully coordinated 3D digital model of the airport. This model will be used continuously over the next five years, allowing the team to test and develop plans in a safe environment, with reduced impact on airport operations.

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As part of the airport redesign, Atkins is also using its 'human centred design' approach. This method uses data collected through web-based surveys conducted during the early stages of the project to ensure that passenger health, safety and wellbeing plays a central role in the terminal’s new design.

The master plan further reinforces the integral part the airport plays as a catalyst for growth across the Midlands and in the UK’s economic prosperity. It outlines the airport’s role in driving future economic benefit to the region which will increase by 42 per cent, totalling £2.1 billion a year and 34,000 jobs by 2033.

A greater choice of flights and destinations, alongside improved regional connectivity and a direct link to HS2, is planned.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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