Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

5m redesign plans for Cardiff airport's terminal

Exterior design of terminal upgrade at Cardiff Airport
The design of the terminal is aimed at improving the airport's overall image

Cardiff Airport has revealed plans to develop its terminal building.

The £5m redesign, part of the airport's wider £15m investment strategy, has reached the planning stage and work could start later this year.

Plans have been drawn up to extend the front of the terminal, link the arrivals and departures halls, and provide new food and retail services.

Managing director Patrick Duffy said he wanted to "present a modern statement for the region" and boost business.

As part of the work the security control point to access the departures lounge will relocated to the first floor, above the existing arrivals hall, the airport said.

The approach area in front of the terminal building will also be redesigned and landscaped.

We are demonstrating our commitment at Cardiff Airport despite market conditions and we call on others, particularly the Welsh Assembly Government to now do their bit
Patrick Duffy, Cardiff Airport managing director

The contemporary design of the development will both improve the overall image of the airport and provide a backdrop to continue delivering high standards of customer service for passengers, explained Mr Duffy.

All changes would be in line with more stringent security regulations, he added.

"Our intention is to enhance and expand the airport terminal, present a modern statement for the region and increase our commercial activities," said Mr Duffy, who pointed out that the re-jig would come at a time when recession has hit air traffic hard.

The plans will go forward to Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Mr Duffy added: "The ultimate drivers of air traffic growth for Cardiff Airport - both inbound and outbound - will be airlines responding to increased economic performance in south Wales and increased visibility of Wales internationally.

'Regional plan'

"These are issues which can only be addressed as part of wider economic policy and industrial development in Wales.

"We are demonstrating our commitment at Cardiff Airport despite market conditions and we call on others, particularly the Welsh Assembly Government to now do their bit."

Mr Duffy said the Welsh public needed to realise that the development of the terminal alone would not actually increase the demand for airlines operating in south Wales.

Interior design of terminal upgrade at Cardiff Airport
The departures lounge will move to the floor above the arrivals hall.

"It does not create new routes and it does not create new tourism," he said. "These issues have to be tackled as part of a regional plan.

"Cardiff Airport has suggested solutions to some of these issues and trusts that government agencies will make their contribution as other regions of the UK have done so for many years."

Other improvements to the airport terminal were completed in 2009 including the refurbishment of the east pier, covering departure gates 3-10.

The first floor of the main terminal building was also refurbished.

In July 2009 Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones announced that a scheme to improve road access to the airport was being dropped.

As an alternative, he said the assembly government would investigate a half-hourly bus express bus service from Cardiff city centre to the airport, more frequent train services and improved safety on the A4266 (Five Mile Road).

The news was criticised as "economic lunacy" by Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith.

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