New executive terminal built at Paris Le Bourget

 - May 21, 2008, 1:30 AM

France’s prime business aviation gateway is set to pass the next stage in its ongoing redevelopment when a new executive terminal opens at Paris Le Bourget Airport on June 30. A former maintenance facility building has been completely renovated and refurbished in a $8.5 million makeover.

Known as K1, the upgraded building will be shared equally between charter operators Unijet and Dassault Falcon Service. Each company will have almost 44,000 sq ft of hangar space and 5,600 sq ft of adjoining office accommodation. A further 27,000 sq ft of office space will be available for other companies in 2009.

The original hangar was built in 1960 to maintain Air France’s widebodied aircraft and was subsequently used by UTA and then Air France Industries. The latest redevelopment at Le Bourget follows the December 2006 opening of another refurbished building close to the airport entrance that houses the new FBO run by Belgium’s Flying Group.

“We decided for environmental, architectural and cost reasons to keep the present facility rather than demolish and rebuild,” said Le Bourget Airport managing director Michel De Ronne. Le Bourget is part of the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group.

Unijet, which has been based at Le Bourget for 40 years, will build a new client reception terminal at the corner of its section of the building and is likely to use it for its Global Express and Falcon 7X operations but has not yet decided whether it will move the totality of its business to the site from its present facility on the other side of the parking ramp from K1. Dassault Aviation is to use the space as a sales showroom for its Falcon jets.

Le Bourget last year reported 66,800 movements, up from 52,000 in 2003 after several years of decline from the 67,000 movements recorded in 1991. ADP chairman Pierre Graff said that traffic had increased by 27.4 percent during that period including 9.4 percent in 2007. According to ADP, growth will continue over the next few years, but at a more moderate rate of between 3.5 and 4 percent.
De Ronne said Le Bourget is approaching the end of the first of the four phases in its 20-year development plan that ends in 2023. ADP had committed to investing more than $12 million annually over the next 15 years. It has more space and other existing buildings available for development.

ADP believes the growing numbers of new very light jets might be encouraged to use the smaller general aviation airport at Pontoise, northwest of Paris. However, De Ronne added that they will also be able to land at Le Bourget.