Friday, August 29, 2008

Alternative Low-cost Terminal Will Seriously Impair Conditions for Cargo Traffic at Copenhagen Airport

Establishing a passenger terminal in the airport’s cargo area will seriously impair conditions for the growing cargo traffic in the south-eastern area which has been developed especially for that purpose. That is Copenhagen Airport’s conclusion after a meeting held today with the investor group behind the proposed project of building an alternative low-cost terminal.

Copenhagen Airports A/S has for some time been asking the investor group to specify the plans enough for it to determine whether it would warrant further consideration.

“After the meeting today, I must say that the proposed project is just not good enough. It could very well be highly profitable for the investors – in the same way as if I was able to force through a plan of setting up a platform of my own in the Copenhagen central railway station or my own grand stand in the “Parken” national stadium. But as the proposed project does not at all fit in with the overall plan for the airport, going ahead with the proposed project would lead to poor transport conditions for passengers, a sharp deterioration of conditions for cargo traffic at the airport and a number of unsolved operational and capacity problems within the airport area,” said Brian Petersen, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S.

Cargo traffic is growing

The proposed area in the cargo section is particularly attractive for the expanding cargo operators as this is the last area at the airport available for setting up logistics operations that can provide the very attractive direct connection between roads/buildings and the airport which is so crucial to effective logistics operations.

“Cargo traffic, which is crucial to Danish trade and industry, has been growing in recent years; last year the growth rate was 4.1%. This has to a great extent been achieved through the attractive conditions at Copenhagen Airport; otherwise the business growth would have occurred in competing airports in Sweden and Germany. CPH considers it important that this growth can continue and should not be stopped because of a passenger terminal in the wrong location,” said Petersen.

Extra security

Furthermore, there is a requirement throughout the EU that a high-security area is established in airfields around passenger terminals and piers, a so-called CSRA. At Copenhagen Airport, the CSRA has been established over the past couple of years, with extensive security screening of vehicles, persons and goods going into the area. A passenger terminal in the cargo area would make it necessary to turn the entire area into a CSRA, whereas that is not a requirement for cargo operations.

“When we established the CSRA, we held talks with the cargo operators to get their opinion as to whether it would be acceptable to them to carry on their daily operations in a CSRA. The answer was a unanimous no, and several operators emphasised that that would make them consider relocating to other airports. So it is quite clear that a passenger terminal in the area will seriously impair conditions for cargo traffic,” said Petersen.

Three kilometres from trains and metro

More than 50% of Copenhagen Airport’s passengers now travel to the airport by train or metro, which are both fully integrated with Terminal 3. The transport time of about 15 minutes from the city centre makes Copenhagen Airport one of the best integrated and most popular big-city airports in Europe.

“The south-eastern corner of the airport is probably the last place we would place a passenger terminal ourselves. The distance to public transport and the roads to the area make it infeasible,” said Brian Petersen

Copenhagen Airport intends to invest in more low-cost traffic

“But as I also said when the proposed project was presented in late June, we agree with the investor group in one respect: Low-cost traffic at Copenhagen Airport has grown a lot and holds the potential to grow a lot more, for the benefit of passengers, trade and industry and the region as a whole. We are therefore working intensely to develop facilities addressing the demands of low-cost airlines for even lower costs and faster turn-around times. I expect to be able to present our overall plans by the end of September,” said Petersen.

Source: Copenhagen Airport