Aéroports de Lyon’s ongoing investment plan is designed to deliver improved connectivity and passenger experience, with a mind-set firmly focused on innovation. Guilhem Piat, Project Manager, explains the ‘Future Terminal 1’ development at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to Ross Falconer.
Rhône-Alpes is Europe’s sixth-strongest economic region, with a GDP of €240 billion. While known for its popularity as a leisure destination for skiing, it is also a hub for high-tech industries, notably nanotechnology and biotechnology – Polygone Scientifique and Schneider Electric are just two of the companies with major bases in Rhône-Alpes.
Aéroports de Lyon is a catalyst for further growth in the region, with an annual economic impact of €2.5 billion. It is continuing a strong upward trajectory under the new ownership of the VINCI Airports-led consortium, which acquired a 60% stake last November. Passenger numbers at Lyon-Saint Exupéry grew by 10% to a record 9.5 million in 2016, largely driven by a 12.5% increase in international traffic, making it the fourth-busiest airport in France. Significantly, the 20 new destinations launched included Moscow, operated by Aeroflot, and Montréal, operated by Air Canada (both introduced in June 2016).
The region’s capital Lyon (pop. 2.2 million) is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, and the goal is for Lyon-Saint Exupéry to become France’s second-busiest airport and main access point to the south-east of the country. “Construction of the new ‘Future Terminal 1’ is key towards achieving this goal and further improving the region’s standing both nationally and internationally,” says Guilhem Piat, Project Manager, Aéroports de Lyon.
Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport factbox
2016: 9.5 million passengers
2016 passenger traffic growth: 10%
Key airline customers: HOP!, easyJet, Air France, Lufthansa, Transavia
Number of routes: 115
Top 5 destinations: Bordeaux, Paris-CDG, Nantes, Toulouse, Frankfurt
The €215 million, 70,000sqm ‘Future Terminal 1’ will allow the airport to welcome 15 million annual passengers by 2020. Construction of Phase A will be complete in 2018, providing an initial 53,000sqm and a capacity of 13 million. Phase B will then see demolition of the old Terminal 3, connection between the new terminal and the current Terminal 1, and a 23,000sqm refit of T1.
“The project came into being for four main reasons,” Piat explains. “We wanted to increase the airport’s capacity, improve operational performance, enhance quality of service by further complying with international standards, and continue developing non-aeronautical revenues. We strongly believe that the project will be able to fulfil these goals and propel Aéroports de Lyon to a new level.”
A beacon of digital innovation
‘Future Terminal 1’ will have a 10,000sqm shopping area at its heart. The rich and diverse retail experience will include 22 shops and a 1,400sqm duty free area. To fully grasp what passengers want, Aéroports de Lyon interviewed over 1,000 travellers. “This is why the commercial outlets in the new terminal will not only satisfy international standards, but also promote Lyon’s territorial and cultural heritage by including boutiques and restaurants such as Le Café Confluences, Alpages and Les Délices de Lyon,” Piat comments. “Innovative and original shops and services, such as Fedon, Looping, and Mademoiselle Vernis, as well as pop-up stores, will also be put in place.”
Aéroports de Lyon is embracing digital engagement with travelling consumers. It is proactive on social media, and has 134,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and 8,000 followers on Twitter. Beacons will be installed in the ‘Future Terminal 1’ for better interaction with those passengers who have installed the new Aéroports de Lyon smartphone app.
“In terms of new technology, we will build on our shop & collect system already in place in Terminal 2 and install it in the ‘Future Terminal 1’,” Piat adds. “The system allows passengers to buy their items on the first leg of their journey and pick them up on the way back. The item is secured in an electronic locker located on the arrival route and can be opened through an access code sent to the passenger’s smartphone.”
A controlled environmental impact
Aéroports de Lyon is committed to environmental sustainability and is accredited at Level 3 Optimisation of ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation. A project on the scale of the ‘Future Terminal 1’ naturally has to be undertaken with a keen awareness of the potential environmental impact. “The project takes place in a contained area, which means that the end result is a perfectly-optimised project in terms of economic and social plans, with a controlled environmental impact and low consumption of space,” says Piat. “In addition, Aéroports de Lyon decided to adopt a sustainable development initiative for the building, with the aim of obtaining High Environmental Quality (HEQ) certification. The main challenges of this initiative are to control the impacts of the building on the external environment, to create a comfortable and safe environment for its users, and to preserve natural resources or optimise their use. So far the ‘Design Phase’ certification has been obtained.”
Energy management is achieved through high-performance equipment and systems, while the new terminal project is also efficient in terms of water management, with a rainwater recovery system in place.
Constant improvement of services and developing creative new ideas are indicative of Aéroports de Lyon’s strategy, and the ‘Future Terminal 1’ is a concrete showcase of how innovation is truly at the heart of its operations.