2011

In February working conditions were improved at Riga International Airport. Additional lighting was installed over the workstations at the passenger check-in area of the airport terminal.

In March the carrier Ryanair resumed flights from Riga Airport to Bristol (UK) and Tampere (Finland).
March also saw the presentation of a newly obtained bird control radar. The bird control radar indicates the locations of bird activity, their flight direction, the risk level at a specific sector or height (depending on the bird weight, location and flight direction), produces visual and audio warning signals, automatically generates daily reports and sends them to specified e-mail addresses; the data are processed and stored on a server.

In March Riga Airport took part in a campaign „Praise good service!” urging the companies and the community to focus on the client service culture. In the course of the campaign the most commended companies and the public and local government institutions were identified. Riga International Airport was among the most commended companies of 2011 and received a prize in the category "Infrastructure".

On 18 April at Riga International Airport the first direct flight was opened on the route Riga - Gdansk. The airline airBaltic operates direct flights to Gdansk four times a week.

On 23 April direct flights were commenced on the route Riga-Antalya. Turkish Airlines performs direct flights to the Turkish city Antalya twice a week – on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

On 26 April the carrier Skyways started flights from Riga Airport to the second largest city of Sweden – Gothenburg.

On 5 May at Riga International Airport Ryanair commenced direct flights from Riga to Rome (Ciampino). The airline will carry passengers directly to Ciampino Airport in Rome four times a week.

On 16 May the first direct flight was opened on the route Riga – Budapest. The airline airBaltic will perform direct flights to the capital of Hungary Budapest four times a week.

On 1 June three new boarding gates were opened at the terminal of Riga International Airport. They were established in order to raise the airport capacity for passenger departures to Schengen countries. In less than four months by reconstructing the locker rooms of the Ground Handling Department staff three new gates were established covering the total area of 400 square metres.
 

On 4 June a direct flight was opened on the route Riga – Bari. The carrier airBaltic flies directly to Bari (Italy) twice a week – on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

On 6 June SJSC Riga International Airport won the 10th place among 150 Latvia’s biggest companies in the company reputation rating arranged by the company Nords Porter Novelli and the paper Dienas Bizness.
 

On 28 June at Riga International Airport Agris Stuklis, the five millionth passenger of the airline Ryanair, was welcomed upon his arrival on a flight from Glasgow.

The European Commission on 25 July approved the large Cohesion Fund (CF) project „Riga International Airport Infrastructure Development”, the goal of which is to create safe and efficient air transport infrastructure answering the needs of the growing air traffic turnover.

The project includes renovation of the runway pavement (the length of 2,470 m and width of 45 m); strengthening of the runway strip, construction of an additional taxiway, modernisation of the aerodrome lighting system in order to facilitate aircraft landing and take-off in unfavourable weather conditions and emergency situations. It is also planned to expand and renovate the existing aprons, build two aircraft de-icing platforms, reconstruct the storm water and underground drainage system and implement other infrastructure improvements.

Total attributable costs of the project are estimated at 66 945 228 lats, of which co-financing of the Cohesion Fund amounts to 41 114 034 lats.

The project implementation was commenced already on 25 February 2011 when SJSC Riga International Airport signed an agreement on the planning works with the company Nams/COWI Latvia/Aviaplan to be completed in November 2011. The construction works are to be commenced in 2012.

The project approved by the EC is part of the EU funding programme „Infrastructure and Services”.
The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia approved the project of Riga International Airport on introduction of new services. Within the project framework electronic security control gates (e-gates) are to be installed at the airport and a new baggage reconciliation system introduced.

E-gates will be installed for automated checking of boarding passes and will help eliminate deliberate or unintentional human errors.

The project will also deal with a baggage reconciliation system (BRS) ensuring that the baggage travels on the same flight as its owner and all the security checks have been made. The possibility of baggage being lost or not arriving at its destination will be reduced to the minimum.

Notably, the BRS will greatly save the time needed for handling of baggage. The airport will receive the information about the baggage and will be able to forward it to the airport of destination.

Another project activity is introduction of the wireless data transmission network on the airport apron in order to ensure functioning of the BRS and exchange of information.

Total costs of the project amount to LVL 381 309.00 with ERDF contributing LVL 129 641.64 and the Airport providing the rest of the funds. The project is to be launched in August 2011 and accomplished by 19 January 2012.

On 8 September 2011 Ministry of Welfare in a solemn ceremony granted to twelve companies, Riga International Airport among them, certificates of a family friendly company.

On 30 October the carrier Ryanair commenced flights to Leeds (Bradford) in the UK.

On 9 December the airline Wizz Air opened a new route from Riga to Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

On 21 December Riga International Airport broke its record of annual passenger handling as it welcomed the airport’s five millionth passenger – Dace Dižbite-Ose – arriving at the airport at 10:30 a.m. on an airBaltic flight from Oslo.

Riga International Airport presented to its 5 millionth passenger an opportunity to use the airport client’s privileges provided by the RIX Club card.

Riga International Airport welcomed its 4 millionth passenger on 21 December 2009, 3 millionth passenger – on 10 December 2007, 2 millionth passenger – on 17 October 2006, and its one millionth passenger – on 13 December 2004.

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