Sunday, October 10, 2010

21st century airport

The new terminal at El Altet is is scheduled to open  March next year with a capacity to deal with  20 million passengers per year.

One of the key features of the new terminal is its automated luggage handling system. From the 96 normal check in desks, cases and bags will be transported via an 18km labyrinth of tracks at speeds up to 2m per second to where the handlers will load them onto planes. Each piece of luggage, including large items like golf bags, will be carried in an individual tray. The progress of the trays will be monitored continuously until it reaches its destination. This means the system guarantees 100% of luggage should arrive at the right plane.

Alongside this, there will be a robotised warehouse that can hold 1,048 pieces of luggage that have been checked in over two hours prior to the flight. That means that passengers can arrive at the airport, check their luggage in and then go off to explore the city or avail themselves of the airport facilities.

Nobody likes hanging around in airports for too long. However, the new terminal promises to be a place where you will happily arrive ahead of your flight. Apart from bars, restaurants and cafeterias, there promises to be 31 retail outlets including  two for El Corte Inglés.

For passengers arriving at El Altet there will be 24 points where luggage is collected from aircraft that will lead to 14 normal carousels and 2 for larger items.

Let’s just hope that when they open three check ins for a flight that people form three queues and not one that snakes around the terminal building.

1 comment:

Will said...

It should be good when it opens. My fear is, however, that prices in the terminal will go up. Some catering outlets charge extortionate prices, in excesx of those at Gatwick or Heathrow. For example, take 'Food Court'. On 15 Sept 2010 I (stupidly?) paid the following:
2 x Atun sandwiches=9.70
2 x Cokes=6.20
2 x patatas fritas=7.40

TOTAL 23.30 Euros. At an exchange rate of 1.15 Euros to the £ this works out at exactlt £20.

Shocking, really. A coke =£2.70. The most I've paid in an UK airport is £2.
I always say I will never buy food again at El Altet, but if you are delayed for 3 hours you get hungry!