Algarve airport reopens better than ever Published on 09 May, 2012 by Keely Capel / Google+
Just six months ago, on October 24, the Algarve (Faro) Airport experienced a roof collapse caused by a storm. This incident resulted in the injuries to five tourists, as well as left thousands of passengers stranded. After months of rebuilding efforts, the airport has now begun full travel services to residents and tourists.
The October storm affected several areas of the airport during the collapse. Damages were sustained by the check in area, as well as parts of the check in area. Since the gradual opening to the public since the Easter holiday, the check-in areas have been reopened to the public as they were completed.
Since rebuilding the roof, the airport has made changes to the building as well. Airport director Antonio Mendes explains that the traffic flow will be completely different. The arrival and departure zones are at the exterior of the building with the new design. Efforts to get this work completed were completed under the six month time constraints with a collaborative effort of over 100 contractors working from four different companies over the past six months. This has been a huge undertaking, and while work is still going on it is operating better than ever.
Since the reconstruction, the airport now offers a relaxation area for passengers who are traveling. This includes an area that offers multimedia information on the airport, as well as local destinations. There are also two touch screen computers available, which provide internet, daily news and entertainment applications. These areas, known as “Living Spots”, also offer refreshments for passengers to purchase. Currently the airport offers two areas, one for use by families, while one caters to business travelers.
Changes to the outside area have completely changed the flow of traffic, as well as the new look. The traffic flows into the new terminal in a different direction, as well as special areas for taxis and busses.
While Algarve Airport already had plans for some reconstruction, the unexpected events had put the improvements on hold. At this point, the repairs have cost a total of 2.1 million dollars. The final costs for the airport improvements has not been revealed, but are expected to be completed by 2014. These renovations include a new upper floor that will host shops, eateries and waiting areas, as well as increasing the departure/arrival areas.
Residents have been frustrated with the seeming lack of organization as the airport has been under construction. Arriving and departing passengers have been using a temporary tent as the airport. This “eyesore” of Algarve is in the process of being dismantled and removed over the week.
Algarve Airport handles an estimated four million passengers each year, and with the coming summer travel season the changes come just in time. Since the airport is the primary gateway for countless tourists coming on holiday, Faro Airport is one of the most important parts of the Algarve experience. Having a new, clean and neat airport makes it easier to bring in tourists and business travelers, and the airport makes an impression on the rest of the experience you will have in this popular tourist destination. Being one of the most sought out vacation spots, the changes to the airport are sure to be a boon to the economy and tourism growth.
Published in Travel