A significant increase in the number of staff, additional parking places and temporary terminals. This is how Kaunas has prepared for becoming the temporary capital of Lithuania`s aviation when, from July 14 to August 17 11:59 p.m., Vilnius Airport runway will be under reconstruction. For 35 summer days aviation activity in Vilnius Airport will not be carried out, and Kaunas Airport, with created temporary infrastructure, will be able to handle flights and passengers transferred from the main country`s air gate. In this period, it`s planned to move approx. 3100 flights and 300 thsd of passengers to Kaunas Airport.
35 days are necessary
From today Vilnius Airport has been closed for the main runway reconstruction – the unique project that is significant in Lithuanian history of aviation.
“It`s the first time in Europe when the activities from bigger airport are shifted to the significantly smaller one - in usual practice this is an opposite, hence it`s an unprecedented phenomenon. Kaunas airport is three times smaller in the sence of infrasructure, staff and operations than Vilnius airport. In order for Kaunas Airport to be able to handle with increased passenger and flights flows, it was necessary to create additional temporary and permanent infrastructure. This excercise has brought us many challenges, but our team, led by only one goal – to ensure passenger safety and smooth operations, is intensively working on them”, - states Gediminas Almantas, CEO at Lithuanian Airports.
He emphasises that everything is going according to the plan.
“Preparation works near the runway have been started this spring, and today the whole project comes to the second stage - the main reconstruction which includes replacing the old pavement, reinforcing its foundation, installing new drainage and rainwater collection systems and reconstructing the lighting control system. After this period, from midnight on August 18, the official date of the opening of the renewed Vilnius Airport runway, final reconstruction works that will not interfere with the operation of Vilnius Airport will continue until autumn”, - explains G. Almantas.
Kaunas Airport is way bigger now
According to G. Almantas, Kaunas Airport has started preparing for considerably expanding flows at the beginning of this year, and today passengers can already evaluate the results of the performed works.
“Two additional temporary passenger terminals were built next to the permanent Kaunas Airport terminal, the apron has been also extended and improved in efficiency. In the temporary departure terminal there are cafés, shops and the Business Lounge moved from Vilnius Airport available”, - says CEO at Lithuanian airports.
For the record, parking area next to Kaunas Airport has been expanded, too. There are about 2000 parking spaces in short-term and long-term parking lots avialable. Also, hundreds of employees will temporary move their working place from Vilnius to Kaunas Airport.
About Lithuanian AirportsThree air gates in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga belong to the network of Lithuanian Airports. In 2016, they served 4.8 million passengers and 52 000 flights. During the summer season, 17 airlines fly from Lithuanian Airports in 69 directions to 59 cities in 26 European countries. According to the data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute about 2.5 percent to Lithuania’s GDP.