Faro Airport to undergo €32.8 million “expansion”

A €32.8 million project to “expand and remodel” the terminal building at Faro Airport has been announced by airport operator ANA. Construction work – the bulk of which will take place at nighttime – will begin in October and is expected to be completed by 2017.

The news came during the celebrations of the airport’s 50th anniversary on Friday (July 10).

The idea is to make the airport “bigger and better”, allowing it to cater for 30 airplane movements and 4,000 passengers per hour.

Alberto Mota Borges, manager of Faro Airport, said that the way things are now the airport simply is not equipped to handle the number of passengers it receives during the “high season”.

Designed to receive six million passengers per year, in 2014 this threshold was exceeded by over 100,000 and all signs are that tourist numbers are going to continue to grow.

Mota Borges explained that another reason for expansion is the increasing number of low-cost airlines that are flying into Faro, bringing passengers who “tend to spend more time at the airport” due to delays and other hold-ups.

Thus, not only does the airport have to have a “larger capacity”, it also has to “offer more commercial establishments” to “keep up with modern times”.

Mota Borges said the renovated terminal building will feature “more operational and public areas, a renovated and larger retail area, an increase in operational security and a more modern look”.

Changes will see the number of security and passport control areas increasing from 11 and eight, respectively, to 17 and 10, while the arrivals and departures lounges will also be expanded along the northern side of the building.

The airport will remain open throughout the reconstruction project and Borges said that the whole plan has been devised to cause minimum upset.

The nighttime construction schedule – much more expensive that day-time labour – is indicative of this, he explained.

Meantime, ANA has confirmed that Portuguese construction giant Mota Engil will be in charge of the operation.