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Malta Airport to enlarge its aircraft parking space

Malta Airport to enlarge its aircraft parking space

The planned new apron for seven aircraft is the largest infrastructure investment in the airport since 1988

The aviation sector is among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with expected losses of up to USD 160 billion during 2020 and 2021, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates. Nevertheless, with coronavirus vaccines being rolled out, Malta International Airport PLC (MIA) feels upbeat about the future.

Bids for the new apron accepted by 12 February

This positive outlook accounts for a daring step undertaken by the airport management. Where others are squeezing their operations in, MIA has embarked on a multi-million investment project to create a new parking zone for seven aircraft complete with all necessary service facilities.

The company has launched a call for tenders closing on 12 February 2021, MIA’s Head of Operations, Engineer Martin Dalmas told public broadcaster TVM. The new Apron X will be spread over an area of almost 100 000 square metres, or the size of ten football fields. It will be located between two aprons currently being used by scheduled aircraft – Apron 8 and Apron 9. And since airport parking zones are numbered in sequence, the new apron will receive the Roman number of 10.

Apron X will accommodate seven narrow bodied aircraft or three wide bodied aeroplanes. It will have a central area to house vehicles that unload baggage and service the aircraft in its turnaround operation.

As part of the project, a new taxiway will be built to ensure that the parked aircraft will have quick access to other airport zones. This is the largest infrastructure investment in the airport since 1988, claims MIA, adding that the new project is in line with its enlargement plans to provide more aircraft parking space.

7 million passengers in 2019  

MIA hopes to kick-start the project straight away after the public tenders call expires on 12 February. The time is right, as due to the current restrictions on international travel and the tourist season months away, the airport is practically deserted. The airport management is optimistic that in the near future Malta International Airport will resume its former activity, reaching and maybe even surpassing the 7 million passenger mark, achieved in 2019.

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