Airport facelift almost finished

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 October, 1996, 12:00am

Phase one of the Madrid-Barajas airport renovation is due for completion this year.

It is costing US$100 million to link the domestic and international terminals.

Semi-automatic baggage handling is being installed and the departure hall enlarged.

The second phase, yet to be started, will give Madrid airport the capacity to handle 42 million passengers a year.

A new runway will be built with extra taxi lanes and aircraft parking slots. A new terminal is also included in the project.

An 'Airport City' will be created comprising new industrial centres, offices for business, hotels, trade fairs and leisure facilities.

'The new airport will also be much more pleasant for people living near it, as well as for passengers,' said airport spokesman Juan Manuel Debido.

'Green areas will be expanded as the plans include the allocation of land for the creation of a second Casa de Campo national park at nearby Valdebaba. A riverside park is also to be set up on the banks of the River Jarama.' Another advantage was that up-to-date noise-reduction systems could be introduced.