EBACE Convention News

Growth Prompts Lyon Airport Plan For BizAv Terminal

 - May 15, 2012, 5:00 PM

Lyon Bron Airport (Stand 1164), which serves France’s second most populous urban area, is back in traffic-growth mode. After reporting a 6.1-percent drop in traffic last year, to around 6,300 movements, it has recorded 2 percent more aircraft movements for the January to April 2012 period.

In an interview with AIN, Eric Dumas, the airport’s business unit manager, gave details about near-term plans, which include new hangars, a runway extension and an expansion of the business aviation terminal.

In an effort to penetrate the UK and U.S. markets, the airport has recently grooved its 5,971-foot runway so that international operators can disregard the 15-percent increase for landings on wet runways. Grooving consists of creating transverse grooves over the entire length of the runway to prevent water from stagnating on the runway surface, thus preventing the risk of aquaplaning. The grooved runway has already allowed the arrival of the first BBJs in Lyon, Dumas said. This is also part of a general trend toward a bigger average size of the aircraft visiting the airport.

In addition, the runway is to be made longer. This year, the distance available for rejected takeoffs will increase from 6,460 to 6,660 feet–greater than the symbolic 2,000-meter bar. In March 2013, the landing distance available will grow from 4,980 to 6,030 feet.

By 2014, aircraft stands will be redrawn on the ground to accommodate bigger aircraft. In the same time frame, two new hangars are to be built: one for parking and the other for maintenance. As the first hangar will be able to house aircraft up to the size of a BBJ 3, FBO equipment will be upgraded accordingly.

Lyon Bron also is planning a business-aviation terminal expansion between 2014 and 2016. The $1 million to $2 million project is expected to create a the terminal large enough to accommodate groups of business travelers. “We want to keep our current two-minute lead time from car to aircraft,” Dumas said. The terminal will include conference rooms and an improved crew area. The construction planning may be brought forward if traffic grows fast.

Lyon Bron was the first airport in France to join the U.S. National Business Aviation Association. “It authorizes us to take part, as an exhibitor, in the annual ‘Schedulers and dispatchers’ conferences,” airport officials pointed out. They will aim to make U.S. business travelers aware of the aforementioned development projects.

According to Dumas, Lyon Bron’s revenues will increase from €4.1 million ($5.3 million) in 2011 to €4.3 million ($5.6 million) this year, generating over €1 million ($1.3 million) of profit (not including investment expenses).