The second phase of a £20 million extension at Aberdeen International Airport today opened to passengers.
The wraps came off the Dyce terminal’s new security hall and duty free area at 4am.
The development, which is being done in three phases, has already seen the creation of a new international arrivals hall and baggage reclaim area.
By the time all the improvements have been completed next year the airport will have increased in size by 50%.
Aberdeen International Airport managing director Carol Benzie said the opening of phase two would probably have the biggest impact to passengers.
She said: “We are so excited with the opening.
“I think phase two is more significant than phase one because all passengers flying through Aberdeen International Airport will have to go through the new security, walk through the new world duty free and see the impact of what we have done behind the boards for the last year.”
The new security hall is much brighter and spacious than the old one and features a new body scanner that can examine passengers in 0.3 seconds – something it’s hoped will cut queues.
The new bright LED screen after the security hall displays an image of sunset at Dunnottar Castle and signals the start of the duty free area, which has doubled in size.
A new World of Whisky shop will showcases rare and vintage tipples.
Guests including north-east MPs, MSPs and both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councillors, attended today’s grand opening.
Ms Benzie said: “Both phase one and phase two have now both been delivered on time and within budget.
“Phase three is the most complex phase as it is right in the heart of the working terminal, so passengers will feel the impact, with changes and flows in terms of where they are going.
“It will open up in three stages as well, the first in October, second in April and last in September. By that point 90% of the terminal will have been transformed.”
Phase three of the development will see the addition of a new departure lounge and kitchen area.
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Rothesay officially opened phase one of the development in October last year.
She met airport workers, contractors and business leaders and toured the new passenger lounge and baggage reclaim area.
Carol added that the latest work would make a real difference to people using the airport and their journeys.
She said: “Investment in an airport is sometimes not visible to the naked eye. We spend a lot of money outside maintaining taxi ways and resurfacing the runway, so now it is time for something tangible for the passengers to see and experience.
“I think there is more space now, it’s less stressful and the new security area is much quieter.
“We have the modern technology now. There is more vibrancy about it. It is shinier and brighter.
“There is a more pleasant ambience all around. You can see the queue progressing, you can see the journey through and what is on the other side.
“When you have gone through security there is now more space in the decompression area with ambient lighting to give people a calm feeling before going on with the rest of their journey.”