Malta Airport Plans A Huge Terminal Expansion

Malta Airport is gearing up for an ambitious expansion project. Revealed yesterday, Malta International Airport (MLA) has plans in place for the most extensive development program in the history of the airport, massively increasing floor space and improving the apron area. The airport says its expansion is to accommodate the ongoing increase in passenger traffic.

Malta International Airport
Malta International Airport is undertaking the biggest expansion in its history. Photo: Malta International Airport

A €100m expansion project

Malta International Airport has launched the most ambitious and radial airport expansion program in the history of the nation’s aviation industry. The continual growth of passenger traffic at the airport has led it to undertake an estimated €100m ($108m) expansion, improving facilities both for passengers and for airlines using the airport.

MLA currently offers connections to over 100 destinations in more than 30 nations. Each year, the airport says it handles more than seven million passengers and has seen a continual increase in passenger traffic during the preceding years. In 2019, growth was pegged at 7.4% and new routes were added to 20 destinations.

Malta International Airport
The familiar facade of the international airport. Photo: Malta International Airport

Alan Borg, CEO of MLA commented on the expansion plans, saying,

“Having officially unveiled the Terminal Expansion Project to the public in January, we are now eager to kick-start the next phase of this ambitious project. The Terminal Expansion Project will equip us with the capacity to handle further traffic growth and enable us to offer a 5-star airport experience. This will be achieved through a combination of increased operational space, a superior F&B and retail offering, a stronger sense of place and the use of cutting-edge technologies.”

Inside the airport expansion

The internal expansion will elevate the floor space of the airport terminal from the current 18,000 sq.m to a capacious 31,200 sq.m. This will include improvements to the check-in hall, security and departure areas, and will include a significant uptick in available check-in facilities.

Malta International Airport
Designs for the new airport include expansion of the passenger terminal. Photo: Malta International Airport

Working with London based design agency The Design Solution, MLA wants to create an improved passenger experience both for departing and arriving passengers. The plans for the terminal bring together a more natural passenger journey through the terminal, with enhanced food and beverage offers both airside and landside.

The design of the airport aims to capture the spirit of the Maltese islands through the use of traditional patterns and materials that represent the sea and skies of Malta. Increased natural light will add to a sense of space, and new building management technologies will reduce the airport’s impact on the environment, making it fit for the future.

Malta International Airport
Both departures and arrivals will get a makeover. Photo: Malta International Airport

Improvements outside too

As well as improving the passenger offers on the inside of the terminal, facilities on the outside are being revamped too. The apron will undergo development, to increase capacity for aircraft, and a new hotel will be built to serve its passengers.

Graeme Johns, Director at The Design Solution, commented on the plans saying,

“The plan incorporates three main areas of expansion to the terminal, collectively enabling us to implement a change of image to the exterior appearance of the building that, carefully co-ordinated with our planning input, will help deliver a smarter flow and a new experience for the passenger. The axial nature of the original building was used to deliver an order to the main architectural elements, thus maintaining the airport’s twin wish to retain the architectural symmetry and design aesthetic of the building.”

The growth at Malta’s main airport is undoubtedly being stimulated by the arrival of Ryanair’s new Malta Air venture. Not to be confused with rival airline Air Malta, Malta Air was bought by Ryanair in June last year, and has seen the transfer of various aircraft and Ryanair bases to the new subsidiary.

What do you make of MLA’s expansion plans? Let us know in the comments.