The announcement was made at the Estoi Palace on Friday, during which airport authorities confirmed in comments to The Portugal News that the work will commence this autumn and is set to last until just before the holiday season starts.

Faro Airport Director Alberto Mota Borges said after the meeting that “little, if any disruption is expected” during the expansion which was announced as the airport celebrated its 50th anniversary.

He explained that the scaffolding will be erected in September and that the work will see the airport being able to increase the number of passengers processed during peak times from 2,400 an hour to 3,000 passengers each hour.

The Airport’s anniversary last Friday was also used to sign the project contract for the expansion and re-modelling of the terminal, with the signatories being the Chairman of VINCI Airports, Nicholas Notebaert, the Chairman of ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, Jorge Ponce de Leão, and the Director of Faro Airport, Alberto Mota Borges.

Nicholas Notebaert explained that the expansion of Faro Airport is part of VINCI’s undertaking to refurbish the terminal, a pledge which the French company made during negotiations for the privatisation of ANA.

The contract, which is being carried out by Mota-Engil, will start next October and the value of the project is 32.8 million euros. Work is expected to be completed in March 2017.

Some of the objectives of the expansion will include responding to the change in the type of traffic, creating more operating areas and more public areas, and revitalising and expanding the retail area (the terminal area will go from 81,200 m2 to 93,120 m2), increasing operating security, modernising the image of the terminal, and reformulating the integration with land. accessibilities.

The largest proportion of this increase in the terminal’s size will be seen at the entrance to the airport, which will be increased by 6,300 square metres, while the second level will grow by almost 5,000 square metres.

The airport will see the first floor experience substantial expansion, with a new shopping area, passport control and customs being introduced.

Similarly, passport control for both departing and arriving passengers will also grow on the ground floor, with a larger retail area also planned.

While airport authorities did not target a specific number of passengers to be reached as a result of the works, the airport last year processed just under 6.2 million passengers.

Mota Borges also said that the airport had been working on boosting the number of passengers flying to the Algarve “between November and February, with airlines being handed considerable discounts to bring passengers to the region in off season.”

The Faro Airport Director made this revelation based on figures handed to The Portugal News which showed that while the number of passengers in 2014 rose year-on-year from April to September, the opposite was mostly true for the months between October and March.

He added that low-cost airlines have come to dominate flights at Faro, with Ryanair topping the list with a share of 28 percent. The Irish airline is followed by Easyjet with 17 percent, Monarch (10 percent) and Jet2 with 7 percent.

Among national airlines, TAP Portugal has a three percent share, followed by British Airways and Lufthansa with two percent each.