Airport expansion takes off


Bondholder East Midlands Airport has received approval for plans to expand its International Passenger Terminal to stop people having to queue outside the building at peak times.

North West Leicestershire District Council has approved the plans for a two-storey extension which will provide an extra 26,371 sq ft of space.

The new space would allow for new electronic 'E' gates for arriving passengers to be installed, a larger queuing area as well as offices.

The Aerozone, which was was launched in 2010 and it is the airport’s on-site education centre used by students from primary years through to university, would also be relocated to the new extension alongside The Airport Academy which provides pre-employment training for local job-seekers.

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.

Karen Smart, East Midlands Airport’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted that approval has been given to expand the arrivals hall at EMA. This is part of a programme of upgrades that we’re hoping to pursue over the coming years to make improvements to the infrastructure which will enhance people’s experience of using the airport.”

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.