Arriving in Barcelona

Thursday 03 Sep 2009

T1 touches down in the Spanish city catering for 30 million passengers

Seeking to become one of Europe’s top ten airports, Barcelona International officially opened its Terminal T1 this month — a $1.7 billion structure that is shaped like an aluminum sword. It is expected to welcome 30 million passengers a year, doubling the airport’s capacity.

The curved and sleek terminal, which was designed by Ricardo Bofill, a native of Barcelona, reflects the latest in airport trends. Its environmentally friendly features include solar-powered water heaters and glass walls that let in plenty of daylight and views of the city. And its resort-like amenities — spa, fitness center, hair salon, multi-faith church, beds and, of course, some 80 stores and restaurants — provide a comfortable environment in the event of long layovers and delayed flights.

Among the 19 airlines now based in T1 are US Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Spainair. They will soon be joined by American Airlines, Iberia and Vueling.

T1 is an extremely complex building in terms of logistics and technology: more than 100,000 passengers will pass through the terminal every day and more than 15,000 people will work there. The integration of a great communications node and services centre into the area has therefore been essential to the design. The result is a building complex structured around three large elements: a processor building which houses the check-in, baggage reclaim and airside shopping areas, two lateral docks and one longitudinal dock for passenger boarding, and an intermodal lobby where the various transport systems will come together.

"It gives Aena great satisfaction to open to the public one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in Europe; a project combining advanced technology, respect for the environment and high quality service," the terminal's owners said.

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