Nice Airport is one of the growth stories of the region with more and more tourists flocking in as easy direct access to the Côte d’Azur, by plane, improves. Take offs and landings occur ever several minutes and in 2018, after breaking records for several years in a row the airport was already closing in on its maximum capacity, receiving 13.85 million passengers. And at that point it became obvious that if growth were to continue an extension to one of the terminals would be needed – and that is exactly what was planned and a permit applied for.
2019 continued with a growth rate not far off 5%, and more passenger records were broken and the 14 million maximum exceeded. Best estimates are that for the year 14.5 million passengers were received. Interestingly this was achieved without additional landings but by efficient booking of existing plane capacity – each plane on average carrying more passengers. What happens now? – especially as between half a million and a million extra passengers a year want to fly into the airport and visit the Côte d’Azur and Monaco. Tourism is the life-blood of the region.
Fortunately for supporters of growth in tourism there is a green light for the extension of Terminal 2 at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. The Prefect granted the Building Permit subject to strict compliance with the regulations, in particular on noise pollution and integration into the surrounding landscape.
Initially a new “pier” will be built allowing several access points for dealing with more aircraft arrivals – delivery is only 18 months away in mid 2021. Secondly, there will be a new terminal building for the development of both “short” and medium-haul traffic (horizon 2022-2023). These two extensions (25,000 m2 in total, bring the total floor area of 98,000 m2 at the airport) include a new registration hall, baggage sorting area, and additional boarding facilities to increase capacity to 18 million passengers per year compared to the current maximum capacity of 14 million.
Not everyone supports the rapid growth that the many who rely on tourism welcome. With respect to reservations that were expressed in particular on noise pollution and on the need for “optimal” integration of the project into the surrounding landscape the Prefect has demanded strict compliance with the regulations.
With respect to the environment the airport has taken notice. In 2011, the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group decided to apply for the certification of the environmental impact of its activities. In 2016, Nice Côte d’Azur became the first French airport to receive level 3+ carbon-neutral accreditation, which is the highest standard of Airport Carbon Accreditation.