Airport extension may not take off

A question mark hangs over the building of the £450m (Austrian Schillings10bn) extension to Vienna International Airport, for which JHP is designing the interiors and retail concept, following the attacks in the US last month.

The new terminal was scheduled for completion in 2007, but a decision on whether to postpone the project will be taken based on the next half-year financial results of Austrian Airlines and its partners in the Star Alliance group, according to an airport spokesman. ‘We don’t want to over-react,’ he says.

JHP will complete the planning stage at the end of the month. It is then due to move to visual design, which could take up to three years to complete. It will determine interior finishes, such as colours and lighting and customer flow.

The consultancy has yet to be commissioned for the implementation phase of the job.

Work on building the terminal is expected to begin by 2004. Ultimately, there will be over 1.9ha of retail and commercial space, says JHP strategic director Steve Collis.

‘The commercial aspect of the airport is as important as the operational side. It’s an airport as much as a shopping centre. With airports you get intrinsically involved in the business plan, so as a design exercise we are not separated from financial realities,’ says Collis.

The consultancy presented credentials and an ‘understanding’ of the job following an approach by the airport. It pitched against three international groups and was appointed in ‘early 2000’.

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