RAF Akrotiri to get new €77mln terminal

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A £66 mln contract has been awarded for constructing a new Passenger Handling Facility at RAF Akrotiri, Limassol, the UK’s largest overseas air base.

The British government said the contract would create a new terminal and freight buildings, including a larger arrivals and departures lounge.

It forms part of the APOLLO Programme, designed to upgrade the infrastructure of MOD sites in Cyprus.

RAF Akrotiri is an important military base that has supported various operations, including the recent evacuation of British nationals from Sudan.

As the island is in an earthquake zone, the programme is replacing or strengthening those buildings which are not seismically compliant and providing many improved and new facilities for service personnel and their families.

“The existing terminal dates back to the 1960s and is no longer large enough to comfortably handle the number of people transported on modern RAF passenger aircraft.

“It was built for VC-10 Aircraft, which carried 131 passengers, but their replacement, RAF Voyagers, carry 291 passengers and 14 crew, meaning departure and arrival lounges are often crowded.

“The design also includes a bigger check-in area with an additional check-in desk and a larger security scanning area, as well as four instead of two immigration desks,” said the MOD.

Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge said: “RAF Akrotiri is an incredibly busy overseas base, supporting operations in the region and beyond, and this £66 mln investment will significantly improve these facilities.

“I’m proud that our dedicated teams in the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and UK Strategic Command have kept up the momentum to continue upgrading our sites in Cyprus.”

It will include a basic aeromedical facility where patients can be held while awaiting an onward flight.

It’s designed to minimise energy use, using features such as solar control glazing and intelligent lighting controls, and will utilise solar PV renewable energy.

Other sustainable features include electric vehicle charging, rainwater harvesting and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in the car park area.

Construction is expected to commence later this year, with completion of the new facility planned for late 2026 and demolition of the existing building the following year.

Tracey Fuoco, Apollo Programme Director, said: “This project is part of a much wider APOLLO Programme of work to update the estate for our Service personnel and their families, who are living and working in Cyprus.

Heraclis Passades, Director of Cyprus Service Provider, said: “The project will create hundreds of jobs in the area, with CSP employing personnel from across the island’s communities, as well as specialists from the UK.”

RAF Akrotiri is a very busy Permanent Overseas Operating Base supporting regional operations.

It also supports military training and acts as a Forward Mounting Base.