Setting a benchmark in passenger comfort
Focused on the needs of long haul, wide-body operations such as those of Air France-KLM, but benefiting all passengers via enhanced capacity, the €580 million S4 satellite facility became operational on 28 June. The boarding satellite enables the SkyTeam alliance to concentrate its activities to the east of the Paris-CDG hub in terminals 2E, 2F and 2G and with a capacity of 7.8 million, it has raised the airport’s overall annual capacity to 42 million. Importantly, all passengers and airlines will benefit from the opening of S4.
While this increase is vital to support Aéroport de Paris’ (AdP) growth plans for Paris’ main aviation hub, it also serves to highlight the level of importance that is being placed by the airport operator and its airline customers on passenger comfort. This is in part driven by the intensification of hub airport competition, for the all-important long haul traffic.
INTOS’ interior experience
INTOS is specialised in fitting out complete terminals. Its product groups contain check-in areas (counters, cabinets, stainless steel parts, canopies and accessories), counters and desks (immigration counters, information counters, gate counters, check-in counters, etc.), signage, security-related products (such as the Space Saving Search Cabin) and interiors for lounges, piers and gates. Manufacturing takes place in its own production facilities. INTOS has in-depth experience of engineering and development of interiors for every imaginable application at airports. INTOS strongly believes that engineering and product development are of paramount importance as, to a large extent, they determine the quality of the project.
INTOS interior contracting was founded in 1991 as a firm manufacturing custom-made interiors for many different clients. It is about a decade since the company was first involved in a project for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: the manufacture of information counters. As a result of this project, INTOS interior contracting later formed its airport division.
In 2011 INTOS interior contracting opened an international office in Dubai. This location enables INTOS to respond and work rapidly and effectively in the Middle East, Africa and India.
INTOS’ airport division has completed many projects at various airports, such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (the Netherlands), Frankfurt Airport (Germany), Princess Juliana International Airport (St. Martin, Caribbean), Aéroport Marseille Provence (France), Malabo International Airport (Equatorial Guinea), Mongomeyen Airport (Equatorial Guinea), Kigali International Airport (Rwanda), Hurghada International Airport (Egypt) and Abu Dhabi Airport (UAE).
“Architects and engineers have designed S4 with the aim of facilitating passenger channels and making it as comfortable and pleasant as possible by offering them a walk through the city of Paris; arriving by metro, a shopping mall built on the model of the chic department stores with iconic French brands, then the boarding lounge – a window of European technology,” said Franck Goldnadel, Director, Paris-CDG. “Passengers will be able to enjoy more than 6,000sqm of shops, bars and restaurants, mainly arranged around a large central square. These areas reflect the image of Paris and the art of French living.”
The commercial offering is indeed impressive, but it is the emphasis on creating a unique airport experience that is at the heart of the S4 project. The 25,000sqm of space dedicated to boarding lounges includes water walls designed by acclaimed Japanese designer Taro Suzuki, wooden patios, plant walls and trees. AdP also has plans to open a museum inside Satellite S4, which will be used to present original works from Paris’ famous museums.
“We wanted to provide our customers with a showcase for France and its know-how,” Goldnadel said. “Throughout the process of developing and finishing the building, this unifying goal encourages us to go the extra mile in creating a living space at least as good as the best available elsewhere in the world; a space that lives up to passenger expectations.”
“What we have created is a unique environment with plenty of space and comfort, a welcoming atmosphere, a user-friendly design to ease passenger flow, and a very high-quality retail offer.”
He continued: “S4 has also been conceived as a living environment in its own right, because we wanted to offer our customers an extension of their stay in Paris in terms of its culture, its food, its shopping, and even its design. The best of Paris can now be found right here in the airport.”
Another of Satellite S4′s features is the exclusive 3,000sqm lounge for Business Class passengers. The design is also inspired by the outdoors, while passengers can make use of free Wi-Fi access, digital tablets and desktop workstations.
The creation of the additional capacity thanks to the opening of S4 will now enable AdP to continue its improvement programme across other parts of Paris-CDG. Terminal 2F, which opened in 1998, is next in line for refurbishment and will be reconfigured to accommodate Schengen flights only, as opposed to the current processing of both international and Schengen flights.
“From late 2012, connections at Paris-Charles de Gaulle will be shorter and faster for passengers coming from a Schengen country and travelling to an international destination,” Goldnadel stated. “Because of EU security legislation, passengers will no longer need to pass through a security checkpoint during their stopover in Paris thanks to the single security checkpoint. 90% of customers from the Schengen area will benefit from this new single security checkpoint, representing 10,000 passengers per day. This will save passengers up to 10 minutes on their connection time. These new procedures will increase the attractiveness of the Paris hub.”