[WATCH] €100 million terminal expansion will see Malta airport double in size

Malta International Airport will increase in size from 18,000sq.m. to 31,200sq.m. to accommodate 25 more check-in desks, four new security lanes and 15 more gates

Artist's impression of how the new terminal facade will look. MIA has announced a €100 million expansion that will double the terminal size
Artist's impression of how the new terminal facade will look. MIA has announced a €100 million expansion that will double the terminal size
€100 million terminal expansion will see Malta airport double in size

A planned expansion of Malta International Airport will see its terminal double in size from 18,000sq.m. to 31,200sq.m, the company announced.

The expansion, which will cost €100 million, will include an increase of 25 check-in desks, four additional security lanes and 15 more gates.

MIA CEO Alan Borg said that a call for architects to draw up designs will be issued in the comings weeks.

MIA will shortly issue a call for architects to propose designs for the expansion
MIA will shortly issue a call for architects to propose designs for the expansion

Borg, who was addressing a press conference on Wednesday, said the architects would have around 10 months to prepare their assessment, designs and phasing, and that a timeline for the completion of the project should be rolled out by the end of the year.

The aim of the expansion is to deliver a 5-star airport, with increased operational and commercial areas and the introduction of a more consistent "sense of place" which connected the airport's look with Malta and its heritage, Borg said.

"I want MIA to look like an airport in Malta, not just any other airport," he added.

The expansion will lead to the airport entrance being pushed further forward, with the addition of terraces and a food and beverage area.

The expansion will deliver more check-in desks, more boarding gates and more security lines
The expansion will deliver more check-in desks, more boarding gates and more security lines

The check-in area will be expanded by over 2,000sq.m. and check-in desks will increase by 25 to a total of 61. "This will add experience and value through quicker check-in times," Borg highlighted.

Immigration control will be shifted from Level 1 to a lower level, increasing the available space significantly for arrivals and allowing for more luggage reclaim belts.

Each departure gate will grow in size, with a four-fold increase in space for seats and queues, Borg said. The number of gates will rise to 21 from the current 11.

The security area will see its lanes increase from six to 10.

Airport passenger movement up 7.4%

Borg also used the opportunity to present the airport traffic results for 2019, which show that passenger movements rose by 7.4% - or 500,000 movements - last year compared to 2018.

The reasons for this included an addition of 20 new destinations to MIA's network and Ryan Air's basing of a sixth aircraft in Malta, Borg noted.

He said that, while 2019 had started slow for the airport, things had picked up once the summer schedule began in April. The last three months of 2019 were particularly strong, he said, particularly December, which saw a 15.2% increase in passenger movement compared to the previous year.

The UK remained Malta's top market, growing by 2.2%. This, Borg said, happened despite the events surrounding Brexit and showed the market's resilience.

Italy (3.4% growth), Germany (9%), France (10.8%) and Spain (17.3%) were the next biggest markets respectively after the UK.

Overall, Borg said, the picture was very positive for 2019 across the different markets.

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