Brussels South Charleroi Airport opened its new terminal expansion, which was designed by AERTEC Solutions, a firm specialising in aeronautics. The Prime Minister of Wallonia, Paul Magnette, and the Belgian Transport and Economics Ministers, respectively François Bellot and Kris Peeters, attended the opening ceremony together with the entire AERTEC Solutions team which took part in the project.
For AERTEC Solutions, sustainability also means combining our know-how with local technology to achieve optimal results in terms of efficiency.
The international engineering and consultancy firm specialising in aeronautics has carried out one of the most ambitious projects in Europe involving an medium-sized, low-cost airport with an overall budget of €70 million. “It’s been a huge challenge for our team: we drafted the master plan, made all the growth hypotheses, completely designed the infrastructure and, finally, we have also overseen the building works to ensure it entered into service by the end of this year”, said Alejandro Martín, AERTEC Solutions’ Architecture Director.
The new terminal at Belgium’s second busiest airport, with a budget of 11.5 million euros, now has over 6,000m2 of space. It is the first phase of and ambitious plan that will eventually see the airport practically double in size over the next eight years. With this new, recently opened infrastructure, the airport now has the capacity to handle 8 million passengers per year according to IATA service level C guidelines. However, when all the works foreseen are completed, which were also drawn up by AERTEC Solutions, it will be able to handle more than 10 million passengers a year. Furthermore, the car park’s capacity was also greatly enlarged by 3,000 m2, as were all road access routes.
The new design aims to be a continuation of the existing terminal and, given its latitude, makes good use of all the possibilities offered by natural light and provides views of the aircraft apron. The outcome is a terminal with a very modest budget, but with bright, pleasant spaces for travellers as part of a project which aims to show that it is possible to build low-cost airports geared at people. “AERTEC Solutions’ notion of work is based on sustainable construction, which not only involves taking advantage of natural resources. For us, sustainability also means combining our know-how with local technology to achieve optimal results in terms of efficiency”, affirmed Martín.
Precisely another of the main aims of the project designed by AERTEC Solutions’s architects consists of improving the user experience at Brussels South Charleroi Airport, which is ranked as the fourth-best, low-cost airport in the world according to a study conducted by Skytrax. The project has improved the design of four key spaces which are crucial for the quality perceived by passengers: check-in, security controls, passport control and baggage reclaim. One of the huge challenges AERTEC Solutions has had to deal with was to ensure that the terminal expansion works were compatible with the operation at full capacity of an airport which has undergone strong passenger growth in recent years. Moreover, as a response to medium-term traffic growth calculations, another of the suppositions consisted of making future enlargements in accordance with passenger and airline demand possible.
AERTEC Solutions has not only developed the new terminal design, it has also conducted all the preliminary studies required to define the enlargement project, drafted its master plan and overseen the entire tendering and building works processes, which were completed before the expected deadline. “Our design isn’t just a good architectural design. We’ve managed to overcome this challenge with all the necessary guarantees thanks to our know-how about the entire airport life cycle. There are a lot of very good architects, but not many who know about airport architecture”, concluded the project manager.
This important work in Belgium is added to the extensive experience AERTEC Solutions has gained on international airport projects in countries like Colombia, Panama, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, among others. Its capacity to intervene across the entire engineering, design and construction cycle of airport infrastructures has positioned the Spanish company as the best technology partner of 100 airports in 40 countries.