LONDON – Latvia’s main airport, Riga International Airport (RIX), has announced a new strategy that will run up to 2027 called “Runway 2027.”
This new strategy will provide the development of the airport city concept “RIX Airport City”, which will offer as well as aviation systems, but new business ecosystems, excellent connections, and new opportunities for both residents and new businesses.
Runway 2027 will focus on developing a range of destinations whilst also increasing the number of passengers and cargo turnover. They will also invest in an advanced and sustainable airport infrastructure and services.
In terms of cargo increases, Riga Airport is looking to process 48,500 tonnes of air cargo per year by 2027.
As part of these huge improvements, they will also pave way for building a brand-new passenger terminal with an area of 30,000 square meters with the capacity to serve up to 12 million passengers annually.
This new terminal will be connected to the Rail Baltica train station which will form a unified and multi-modal transport hub.
Built around this will be the RIX Business Park which will offer hotels, office centers, logistics, air cargo, and e-commerce warehouses, create development possibilities for a wide variety of new businesses and create new jobs.
Laila Odina, Chairperson of Riga Airport Board says, “The growth rates during the pre-pandemic years evidence stable and unquestionable leadership of Riga Airport in the Baltic States.”
“Thanks to the successful development of infrastructure, growth of the national carrier airBaltic, competitive tariff policy, and by using the advantages provided by the geographic location, Riga Airport has positioned itself as a regional air traffic hub in Northern Europe.”
Artūrs Saveljevs, Airport Board Member adds, “We will develop the Airport City as a multi-modal traffic and logistics center connecting various modes of transport and creating a successful environment for business development.”
“By ensuring varied services, work, meetings, knowledge exchange, and recreation for the travelers and local residents. Riga Airport will be formed into a self-sufficient destination.”
Out of all this investment, Riga Airport is hoping to have an annual net turnover of €77 million in 2027 despite all these developments costing approximately €247 million.
This is broken down as €155 million for the passenger terminal including the introduction of an automatic luggage sorting system, as well as new car parks, roads, and viaducts.
There will also be €58 million which is to be spent on aerodrome infrastructure such as the reconstruction and renovation of aircraft aprons and taxiways, aerodrome transport machinery, and new LED apron lighting equipment.
The remaining €34 million will be spent on other various improvements.
Not only does this investment include improved airport facilities, but they are also aiming to achieve their green goals of reducing CO2 emissions.
As part of their green goals, Riga Airport joined the international Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program, Airport Council International (ACI EUROPE), and the Net Zero 2050 initiative.
Normunds Feierbergs, Airport Board Member says, “Our development forecasts and necessary investments are based on international forecasts on recovery of the aviation industry after COVID-19 pandemic, regional aviation market analysis, and assessment of Riga Airport potential and advantages, as well as careful and realistic calculations when analyzing various scenarios and various options for attraction of financing.”
“Considering the ambitious scope of investments in recent years, Riga Airport plans to attract both EU structural funds and credit institution financing for the implementation of investment projects, as well as issue bonds.”