BAA-owned Southampton airport is to benefit from a £7m investment programme over the next year, including new restaurants and improved access for rail passengers. Work has already begun on a new landside Costa Coffee outlet, and Mitchell’s Kitchen and Bar, named after RJ Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire aircraft. Both facilities are due to open at the end of this year, and the terminal will also see new airside outlets open before next summer. Over £2 million is also being spent in partnership with South West Trains on a new covered footbridge with lift access, aimed at improving access to the airport for rail passengers and travellers with luggage, children or reduced mobility. The airport is also implementing several energy saving initiatives. It has replaced its air conditioning system with new units which it says are around 50 per cent more efficient, and the terminal’s roof glazing will also be replaced early next year. According to BAA this will provide a lighter and brighter terminal, but the new coating will also reflect around 33 per cent of the sun’s heat, resulting in less energy being needed for air cooling. In addition the airport is installing new toilets at a cost of £830,000, which will include infra-red activated taps and energy-efficient hand driers. The current terminal building opened in 1994, although the site’s connection with aviation can be traced back as far as 1910, meaning the airport will celebrate its centenary next year. For more information visit southamptonairport.com.
Report by Mark Caswell