Rīga Airport infrastructure lagging behind airline growth

The infrastructure at Riga Airport is developing, but at a slightly slower rate than the airlines operating there, said Artūrs Saveļjevs, a board member of the airport, in an interview with Latvian Radio October 22.

Saveļjevs noted that Riga Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, placing considerable pressure on both airport infrastructure and staff. Consequently during the busiest peak hours, especially in summer, lines tend to be longer than travellers would like.

"People need to get used to having to arrive at the airport well in advance - at least two hours before the flight - in order to get through all the controls, check-in and security peacefully, without stress," Saveļjevs said.

He acknowledged that the airport's infrastructure is developing at a slightly slower pace than the airlines, who are bringing rapidly increasing numbers of passengers through the departure and arrival halls.

"The bottleneck is in the public part of the airport. It is at the check-in hall, at the security check," said Saveļjevs.

Sometimes the appearance of long lines can be deceptive, making thesituation look worse than it really is, he added, and that technology used to monitor the lines suggests that on average checks take around 10 minutes, but that security controls generally vary between 2 minutes and 20 minutes. 

However, he admitted there was an "abnormal situation" at the airport on October 7 and 8, noted by several people on social media, with much longer queues for security control than usual. This was due to an outbreak of illness involving several employees, he explained.

As previously reported by LSM, Rīga International Airport recorded double-digit growth in passenger numbers last year, with more than 7 million passengers passing through. Growth looks set to grow with an increase in passenger numbers of 10.6% during the first none months of this year against the same period a year ago.

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