Page last updated at 07:04 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

New departure lounge at airport

Passenger in new terminal
The new departure lounge can cope with 12,000 passengers per day

A new departure lounge has opened at the George Best Belfast City Airport.

The refurbishment is creating 20 jobs through an increase of 60% in retail and restaurant space and is part of a £6m investment in the terminal.

A new security area is due to open in about three weeks, and airport management has said that will cut down on queue times.

Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of the airport, said travellers would see a "remarkable difference".

"This significant private investment will enhance the customer experience as we aim to stay ahead of the curve in accommodating increasing passenger numbers," he said.

He added that the remainder of the work would be completed in March 2010.

The new lounge on the first floor is capable of handling 12,000 passengers per day.

Doug Pilkington of designers BDP said security changes had seen changes in how airports worked.

"In light of continuing heightened security, the pattern of use of airports has changed significantly, and as a consequence, passengers' use of retail and catering facilities only begins properly on 'airside', after they pass through security," he said.

"BDP's reorganised terminal design acknowledges and addresses this change in trend, and will become an exemplar for domestic and business airports into the future."

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