Being Malta’s only air terminal, Malta International Airport hosts around 97% of all tourists visiting the Maltese islands. This makes MIA a very important contributor to the local economy, especially since travel and tourism amount to circa 25% of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product, which is a significantly higher percentage than Europe’s average. This apart, Malta International Airport has also been developing its non-aviation segment, and this has contributed to its growth to support, both directly and indirectly, over 15,000 jobs.
Ever since its privatisation in 2002, the company has focused on continuous terminal upgrades, as well as on the development of the building’s surrounding campus, so as to be able to cater for an ever-increasing number of passengers, and with a vision to become one of the best European airports.
Over the past 16 years, Malta International Airport’s infrastructure has benefitted from an expenditure of more than €110 million, with some of the most noteworthy upgrades brought about being a terminal expansion, the development of SkyParks Business Centre, and a recent terminal reconfiguration that will enable further traffic growth.
This reconfiguration project has delivered significant improvements to the terminal, which include the relocation of the Central Security Area (CSA) to a bigger space, the upgrade of the airport’s Baggage Handling System (BHS), the installation of eight additional check-in desks and the refurbishment of existing ones, the unveiling of a new VIP lounge, and a reconceived observation deck.
Having completed a noteworthy Terminal Reconfiguration Project in the first quarter of 2019, Malta International Airport kicked off an even more ambitious project in January 2020. This project – the Terminal Expansion Project – will see the terminal building develop to occupy double its current footprint; namely around 31,200 square metres. The company’s investment in this expansion project will be of around 100 million euro.
The Terminal Expansion Project will not only equip the company with the capacity to handle further traffic growth, but it will also allow for the provision of a 5-star airport experience. This will be achieved through an increase in operational areas, a superior F&B and retail offering, a stronger sense of place and cutting-edge technologies. The project will be mainly focused on improving the experience and airport processes at key points of the passenger journey through Malta International Airport, including within the Check-in Hall, at the Security Screening Area, and at the departure gates.
The design of the expanded terminal is envisaged to be such that it captures the spirit of the Maltese islands particularly through the use of traditional patterns and materials, colours that are evocative of the sea and clear skies, and a play of light that brings to the building the warmth that Malta and its people are known for. With sustainability being an important value to the company, energy-efficiency and water consumption considerations will constitute another pillar of this project.
The company is also working on the construction of a multi-storey car park, with works on this 20-million-euro project having kicked off in the last quarter of 2018. This car park will introduce 1,300 covered parking spaces on the airport campus, as well as provide car rental companies with a centralised area of operation. A passageway will be connecting the multi-storey car park to the main terminal building for a more seamless passenger experience. Works on this project are envisaged to be completed by summer 2020.
Another project which is in the offing, and which forms part of the company’s investment programme, is the development of Apron X. Located in the midst of the operational hub, this new aircraft parking area will accommodate seven Code C aircraft or four Code E aircraft, and furnish the airport with aircraft capacity stability for the long term.
In line with its aim of developing the airport into more than just a terminal, and following the success of SkyParks Business Centre, Malta International Airport issued a call for offers for the provision of architectural and engineering services for a second mixed-purpose building; SkyParks 2 in February 2019.
More recently, the company issued a call for proposals from potential hospitality partners for the design, finishing, operation and maintenance of hotel property. This minimum 4-star category hotel is envisaged to be an independent building around which the SkyParks campus continues to grow and gain visibility as a lifestyle destination.