Riga Airport to completely rebuild one of its aprons with EU support

  • 2024-07-01

With the co-financing of the European Union (EU), Riga Airport (RIX) will implement an ambitious aerodrome reconstruction project over the next few years, which will include the complete reconstruction of Apron 4 to provide a dual-use TEN-T infrastructure for civil and military purposes.

The contract signed with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) for the financing of the project "Reconstruction of Apron 4 of SJSC Riga International Airport to provide a dual-use TEN-T infrastructure for civil and military purposes" provides for the reconstruction of the hard surface of Apron 4 over 80 000 square metres, creating ten class A-E aircraft parking areas that can be used in different configurations, as well as taxiways and maintenance lanes.

The project will also include the construction of a power supply substation with two independent input connections for the lighting of Apron 4 and the supply of electricity to aircraft parking areas in accordance with the latest EU requirements, the creation of areas for the storage of aircraft maintenance equipment in the areas adjacent to the apron, the creation of an aerodrome lighting system, the reconstruction of lighting poles and floodlights, the installation of a new video surveillance system and associated power lines, as well as a rainwater drainage system.

"We are very pleased that CINEA has supported the Apron 4 reconstruction project. This will allow Riga Airport to increase the number of aircraft parking spaces to meet future demand, to expand the cargo handling area even further and to promote military mobility, which is particularly important in the current geopolitical situation. With the development of civil and military cargo handling and railway infrastructure at aprons 4 and 5, it will be important in the future that Class C, D and E aircraft can be handled and allocated parking spaces," said Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport.

The reconstruction of Apron 4 has to be completed by 2027 and the total budget for the project is up to €39.3 million, excluding VAT. CINEA will finance 50% of this amount, while Riga Airport itself will fund the remaining 19.7 million.

The current Apron 4 was built in the 1970s, which limits its use as it does not meet the needs of modern aircraft maintenance.

Riga Airport's development strategy envisages the creation of a cargo handling area or "cargo town" in the area of aprons 4 and 5, where a specialised cargo handling apron was launched already in 2020, followed by the opening of a regional parcel handling and logistics centre of the logistics company DHL a year later. In addition, the national airline airBaltic has started the construction of the Baltic Cargo Hub logistics centre for cargo handling.

Riga Airport handles 35% of all air cargo in the Baltic States.