Hermes Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport (IATA: LCA, ICAO: LCLK) is an international airport located 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Larnaca, Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the larger of the country's two commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport on the island's southwestern coast. The airport has one passenger terminal. Departures are accommodated on the upper level, while arrivals at the Ground level. The airport utilizes a single large apron for all aircraft. There are 16 jetways (boarding bridges), connecting the terminal with aircraft, while there is a provision for utilization of shuttle buses to convey passengers during hours of extreme traffic. Infrastructure also features a large engineering hangar, a cargo terminal, and separate facilities for fueling and provisioning light aircraft.
Larnaca Airport was hastily developed towards the end of 1974 after the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey on 20 July of the same year, which forced the closure of Nicosia International Airport. The site on which it was built (near the Larnaca Salt Lake), had been previously used as an airfield in the 1930s and, subsequently, as a military installation by the British forces. Larnaca International opened on 8 February 1975, with only limited infrastructure facilities and a prefabricated set of buildings comprising separate halls for departures and arrivals. The first airlines to use the new airport were Cyprus Airways using Viscount 800s leased from British Midland and Olympic Airways using NAMC YS-11s. Initially, the runway at Larnaca International was too short for jet aircraft. Nowadays, Larnaca Airport is used as a hub by passengers traveling between Europe and the Middle East. The status of Cyprus as a major tourist destination means that air traffic has steadily risen to over 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity the airport was first designed for. As such, a tender was put out in 1998 to develop the airport further and increase its capacity (see below). Already completed elements of the expansion include a new control tower, fire station, runway extension, and additional administrative offices. The surrounding road network was improved by upgrading the B4 road and by completing the A3 Motorway. A new Junction has been constructed near by the new terminal. The new terminal was built some 500–700 m (1,600–2,300 ft) west of current facilities, adjacent to the new control tower, with new aprons and jet ways. The old terminal building is slated to be partially demolished and refurbished as a cargo centre. The concept architectural design was developed by French architects at Aéroports de Paris (ADP) with Sofréavia in France. Detail and Tender design was completed in Cyprus by 1998, with local architectural office Forum Architects and a large engineering team under the coordination of ADP. The design was later used as a base for the BOT projects of both Larnaca and Pafos International Airports though significant changes were made mainly on "value engineering" grounds. A large amount of controversy spurred by the local media surrounded the granting of the contract when it was put out to tender. A consortium led by BAA[clarification needed] and Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P) construction quickly pulled out when it did not receive assurances from the Cypriot Government that it would receive financial compensation in the event that direct flights were allowed between the Turkish occupied north of the island and the rest of the world. The contract was eventually hastily granted to the next best bidder, the French led 'Hermes' Consortium. This too, was not free of controversy, causing legal challenges by BAA and J&P, and adding further delays to a much needed project.
Check-in area A €650m upgrade of the Larnaca and Paphos airports has been completed, representing Cyprus's first Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project. The international tender was won by Hermes Airports, a French-led group. The consortium is made up of Bouygues Batiment International (22%) Egis Projects (20%), the Cyprus Trading Corporation (a local retail group-10%), Iacovou Brothers (a local contractor-10%), Hellenic Mining (10%), Vancouver Airport Services (10%), Ireland's Dublin Airport Authority (Aer Rianta International) (10%), Charilaos Apostolides (a local construction company-5%) and Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (3%). Hermes Airports built new passenger terminals and plans to extend the runways at both airports under a 25-year concession. A new terminal building opened on 7 November 2009. It has 16 jetways (boarding bridges), 67 check in counters, 8 point for self-service check-in, 48 departure gates, 2,450 parking spots. The new terminal can handle 7.5 milion passengers per year. The second phase, to be completed in 2013, provides for the expansion of the new terminal to handle 9 million passengers a year, and for a 500 m (1,600 ft) runway extension. The design of the new 98,000 m2 (1,050,000 sq ft) terminal includes 16 boarding bridges and is intended to reflect the proportions of a medieval aqueduct located in the city.