Refurbished terminal opens at Lyon

 - September 11, 2006, 10:15 AM

France’s Lyon Bron airport last month opened its refurbished 2,100-sq-ft business aviation terminal. The crew room and passenger area were refurbished as part of the $225,000 project. In addition, the terminal now features recently launched FBO services. The local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), which manages the airport, anticipates that the improvements will allow the airport to take advantage of the growing market for business aviation in Europe.

The changes in the passenger area are mainly aesthetic. The pilot room now includes the facilities needed for flight planning. There is also a shower and rest area.

Although most passengers spend as little time as possible in the terminal–Bechir Hakim, head of FBO services, said business travelers, 75 percent of the passengers, spend an average of 20 seconds in the terminal–VIPs usually take time to have a drink in the lounge.

Traffic growth has been strong at Bron. “In the first five months of this year, business aviation movements at Lyon Bron increased by 14 percent,” Xavier Mary, the airport’s director, told AIN. Last year, the airport logged 5,800 movements; it expects 6,800 this year. Bron claims to be France’s third busiest business aviation airport, behind number one Paris Le Bourget and Cannes.

Increasing the traffic at Bron involves attracting some customers from Lyon Saint-Exupéry, the city’s main gateway, Hakim pointed out. Some 10 percent of business flights to Lyon still use it even though the airport is 15 miles farther from Lyon and has lengthy arrival procedures. However, it is convenient for connecting to airline flights or those trips for which the final destination is near cities such as Bourgoin-Jallieu.

Lyon’s CCI has launched a call for tenders for an on-site restaurant, which the facility has lacked for 15 years. Officials hope to break ground early next year. CCI is also in the planning stages to build hangars to house another 12 airplanes.