Two thirds of the biggest construction project being undertaken by the Brazilian Airport Authority (Infraero) have been finished. The new car park and passenger terminal of the Eduardo Gomes Airport in Manaus (capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil's north region) will more than double its capacity, going from 6.4 million to 13.5 million passengers per year. With delivery date set for December 2013, R$ 344 million has been invested in the project. There are currently 1,200 builders working at the airport's building site.
According to Infraero’s regional superintendent Rubem Ferreira Lima, the airport, inaugurated in 1976, needed modernisation because of changes such as the different types of aircraft it caters for and the increase in demand for flights to Manaus. “The change in the mix of aircrafts and a new demand, particularly for international flights, is clear”, states Lima.
The old passenger terminal, which has been in operation while the new one is being built, will undergo renovation and in the future will house the arrival and departure halls. “All construction works are being done while the airport is in operation and no flight has been delayed due to the interventions. The plan was very well outlined so that passengers and airlines wouldn’t suffer”, said Infraero’s construction superintendent Magno de Carvalho.
Currently, the airport has six boarding bridges. When renovation is over, there will be eight - a new one at each end of the terminal. Internally, the terminal will be divided into three levels, with the last level housing the food court and administrative offices. There will be 87 check-in counters available to passengers, as well as 16 social lifts and 13 escalators, in addition to 113 stores. There will be 2,670 parking spaces, 188 of them reserved for people over 60, expecting mothers and people with special needs.
According to superintendent Rubem Lima, the increase in safety and security, as well as comfort and capacity at the airport in Manaus will be factors that will aid the city in attracting more international flights. “The renovations being done will also benefit South American countries in relation to travelling issues. Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia are close to Manaus. Some of these countries may decide to put on flights to Brasilia, coming through Manaus”, says Rubem Lima.
The runway and yard do not need to go through interventions for 2014, but are being prepared for possible renovation in the future. “We removed over 400 thousand cubic metres of soil when we dug the area. The land has been filled at a place over 40 metres deep, so that it may be used in a possible renovation of the yard in the future. We don’t need it today, but we might do in the future and the area will be ready", anticipates Rubem Lima.