Monday, 14 November, the new North Pier at Riga International Airport will be inaugurated in the presence of the Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis, top management of the Ministry of Transport and the Airport, the most significant business partners and other guests.
“The new pier is another significant infrastructure project of the Airport; its goal is to improve comfort of passengers and increase quality of the services provided to travellers and our partners, strengthening the position of Riga Airport as a leading airport in the Baltics and Northern Europe,” says Armands Jurjevs, Chairman of the Board of Riga International Airport.
The two floors of the new pier will offer the passengers 19 new boarding gates, three airbridges, two new shops and five cafes, playgrounds for children, as well as spacious and comfortable waiting rooms. The total area of the pier is 9828.39 m2; with the premises for arriving passengers and the gallery connecting the terminals, which were built on the first stage of the project, the area amounts to 17 340 m2.
Owing to the new buildings of the pier, Riga International Airport is now fully capable of handling long-range flights — from the viewpoint of both the technical issues and passenger comfort. As Riga Airport is becoming a regional transit hub, a further increase in the number of transit passengers is expected: even now, they account for 27% of all the passengers. For passengers on long flights, the new pier offers a spacious and comfortable transit zone, while the hydrant system installed around the pier for direct fuel supply will make it faster to fuel up large aircraft. The new aircraft stands are located close to the terminal, allowing passengers access aircraft easier and faster, using busses less frequently.
The authors of the project of the new pier are the architects from SIA ARHIS ARHITEKTI: Andris Kronbergs, Raimonds Saulītis, Paulis Gibze, Evija Runce, Ēriks Miķelsons and Uldis Jaunsubrēns. The architectural image of the building and its interior solution continue with the principles already used in other expansion projects of the Airport: as much transparency as possible, good room navigation, wide, integrated, unrestricted spaces, connection between the indoors and the adjoining outdoors. Maximum possible amounts of natural and sustainable materials were used for the project, creating an architecturally and stylistically unified Airport complex.
As reported before, within Stage 5 of Riga Airport terminal development project, Phase one of construction was completed in September 2015, expanding the non-Schengen zone, building the connecting gallery and more spacious rooms for arriving passengers, as well as the supporting structure and the facade of the new pier. A time capsule with a message for the future was buried in the foundation of the building two years ago, on 6 November 2014. As part of Phase two, the interior works were completed in the new North Pier, the airbridges were set up, the boarding gates, commercial and waiting areas - constructed. Phase one of construction was completed by SIA Skonto Būve; Phase two — by SIA Merks.
Total expenditures for the project exceed 26 million euros. The Airport conducts the terminal development project as part of its business operations, financing it from its own funds and loans from POHJOLA BANK PLC.
The current capacity of the Riga Airport terminal allows for quality handling of 3.5 million direct passengers per year — although even now, the total number of the Airport’s direct and transit passengers exceeds 5 million per year. Once the North Pier is open, the transit passenger zone will be capable of handling 7—10 million passengers a year.
The next step for the Riga Airport infrastructure development will be further development of the terminal, expansion of the passenger registration hall, the luggage pick-up and sorting zones, and the security control zone, construction of a multi-storey car park and a junction with Riga Airport railway station of the new Trans-European ‘Rail Baltica’ railway project. As reported before, the memorandum signed by Eiropas Dzelzceļa Līnijas, which is responsible for the implementation of the ‘Rail Baltica’ project, and Riga International Airport sets 2022 as the year when the construction of the RIX ‘Rail Baltica’ station and its integration in the Airport will be completed.