Bondholder East Midlands Airport (EMA) has submitted a planning application to expand its arrivals hall. If approved, work could start this spring to be ready for the busy summer season.
The new hall will have the capacity to house five more e-gates (automated self-service barriers operated by the UK's Border Force at immigration checkpoints in arrival halls) and will be bigger, creating a more pleasant environment for passengers waiting to have their passports checked.
Almost 5 million passengers fly to and from EMA each year whether to popular holiday resorts in Europe, for city breaks, business or winter snow-sports holidays. Two-thirds of EMA’s total passengers fly during the summer season between 1 April and 31 October. The months of July, August and September are the busiest.
Also, in preparation for the summer season, renovation of the central apron (the area on which passenger aircraft park) will take place this March. This is required to maintain the airport’s excellent performance for on-time departures for which EMA is ranked in the upper quartile of 20 benchmarked airports.
Further investment this year at EMA includes four new fire engines, a new fleet of airfield security and operational vehicles, replacing the remaining halogen airfield lights with LEDs – saving money and energy as well as installation of new weather stations which will help reduce ice-related disruption.
Karen Smart, EMA’s Managing Director, says: “I’m delighted to announce plans have been submitted to improve the airport’s facilities. The demand for flights to and from the UK is forecast to grow and regional airports such as East Midlands are well-placed to absorb some of this capacity. My job is to ensure that EMA continues to prosper and remain fit for purpose for many years to come. With major infrastructure projects planned for this region such as HS2, which will provide the foundation for enhanced connectivity to and from this airport, EMA needs to be ready for increased demand. As our current cargo performance has shown, we can’t stand still, and we need to keep ahead of the game.”