Nice Airport: What’s New?
In recent talks about the privatisation of the airport, Monaco was in a bid to purchase 5% of the airport’s capital for an investment of 150 Million euros. For this amount being invested, the addition of the name Monaco to the current name was mentioned (Nice- Monaco airport). However, in a municipal meeting a few days ago, Christian Estrosi did not seem to like at all this possible idea. He believes that he has sufficient clout among the board of directors to ensure that the name would not change.
What is in a name? Many people argue that Monaco and its reputation and proximity, is beneficial to the airports economy and that for 150 Million EUR, it is worth adding the name. Would it make a big difference in the prestige and economy of the airport once it has been privatised? Time will tell, but it is rather petty to be so strongly opposed to the name-change.
The Situation and the Future:
Terminals 1 and 2 are being redesigned and extended as part of a major retail and facility expansion project. The expansion will cost EUR30 million. Renovation work for Terminal 1 (T1) started in Jan-2015 with a completion date of May-2016. This will get two new covered walkways and a multi-level parking for 800 places (parking work still in progress as can be noticed). Terminal (T2) is scheduled for completion in May-2017 with planning work starting in 2015. The halls will be extended and low-cost airlines will have a special wing with 4 new boarding exits. In Nov-2014 the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a financing agreement of EUR100 million for the expansion and modernisation of the airport.
The objective is to be able to handle and cater for 18 million passengers by 2021. The runway strips will also be expanded to accommodate the largest passenger aircraft (and why not cargo too). This will allow Emirates (and any other company) to operate to and from Nice with the A380. The five-year plan also provides for the expansion of the tank farm which will remain in the same place, but could provide a three-day fuel supply for the airport, thanks to its 3 tanks of 1300 cubic meters.
New domestic routes are being put into place to and from the Regional airport hub, with the French “Aero Group” owned “Fly Kiss” (Other companies to follow?). It is clear that the future is bright and with the upgrades and the privatisation of the airport, the intentions are clear. The airport will be the door to increased economic activities in the region, which is not only a touristic destination. It is a business hub too. Monaco-Nice-Cannes will know a bright future in corporate travel. The new facilities will be taken over by the Franco-Italian group “Azzuro”. With this in mind, it is a clear statement that the airport Nice Côte d’Azur aims at improving its status and expanding the range of services and facilities to its passengers.