Airport FOCUS: Paris-Charles de Gaulle

Developing existing infrastructures is a strategic priority

After a first phase of creating capacities to support the growth of air traffic (25 million capacity increase between 2006 and 2010), Aéroports de Paris is now orienting its investments toward improving quality of service, mainly through the renovation of its oldest facilities

Paris-Charles de Gaulle terminals 2A and 2C, inaugurated in 1982 and 1993 respectively, must now adapt to new challenges and airport constraints, but especially meet the new expectations of passengers and airlines in terms of services. Security requirements and passenger checks – police checkpoints and hand baggage control – have also profoundly modified the way people travel and require the rethinking of terminal space management.
That’s why Aéroports de Paris is launching a vast programme to redevelop these two terminals, as was done between 2004 and 2009 for the central body of terminal 1, and as will also be the case in the coming years for terminal 2B.
The first step of this work is the construction of a building that will interconnect terminals 2A and 2C, for an expected investment of 71m Euros for a commissioning scheduled for the second half of 2012. With its 16,600-m2 floor area, this connection building will free up space in the public area and will allow a complete rethinking of the operating modes of these two terminals. By 2013, they will offer a more fluid passenger route, better quality of service, and a more pleasant waiting time for connecting passengers.
A building to improve space and comfort and ease passenger flow
In this central building, each level will have its own, clearly identifiable function for easy passenger orientation: checkpoint operations on the ground level, a vast retail and service area on the first level, and airline lounges on the top level.
3,400 m² will be dedicated exclusively to passenger control. Departing passengers will check in their baggage in their respective terminals, 2A or 2C, and with their boarding pass they will go to the connecting building to go through border control and security.
The connecting building will make these checks more fluid by concentrating them at a single point. This area will have new screening checkpoints, designed to make this step easier for passengers, as well as PARAFE security gates (see box on page 39). This level will have up to 13 police checkpoints and 16 security checkpoints, including optimised allocation of police and screening resources and shorter processing times.

LEVEL 1: An expanded retail offer: 2,300 m² of additional bars and shops
Before going to their boarding lounge, passengers can enjoy an expanded retail offer with an innovative design.
Aéroports de Paris’ ambition is to become the European benchmark for travel retail by 2015, in terms of economic performance, innovation and customer satisfaction. Aéroports de Paris will implement, in all its terminals (recent or completely renovated), a new organisation model for its retail areas. Each space will be laid out and standardised in terms of density, customer route, and integration of living and waiting areas.

A first: a “department store” walkthrough
For the AC connecting building, this organisational model implies a paced customer route with firstly a “department store” walkthrough where customers will be at the heart of the retail offer: wines & spirits, cigarettes, perfume, lifestyle and gourmet foods. This 1,300m² floor area will allow passengers to enjoy one last Parisian shopping spree before flying away.
This Beauty and Lifestyle department store will be followed by a “luxury” space, in which a 100m² Caviar House & Prunier sales outlet is already planned. As for the other stores, Aéroports de Paris is in contact with the players already operating at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport Terminal 2E, and with other brands, among which are the world leaders in luxury. Passengers can then either go to Terminal 2A or 2C, as the boarding lounges are now interconnected.LEVEL 2: 3,300 m² of airline lounges with a view onto the runways
The construction of the AC connecting building will also meet airline needs, providing large lounges for their customers. On the last level, their passengers can enjoy 3,300m² of lounge space, with a view onto the runways and Paris in the distance.

Connecting terminals 2A and 2C: A daring architectural approach
The new connecting building will not only offer passengers more comfort, it will also have its own identity, with an original exterior architecture and a calm, peaceful interior atmosphere.
A contest was launched among Aéroports de Paris architectural teams to determine what the facade of the building should look like. Several proposals were presented to general management, which opted for a futuristic external architecture consisting of metal ribbons.
The decision was based on a number of criteria: its plasticity, its flexibility and its role as both a “sunscreen” and a decoration.
As the building’s second skin, these flexible metal ribbons cloak each of its facades. This flexible system allows users to see the aircraft from the lounges and it offers a number of different views of the building depending from where you look at it.
The materials chosen allow passengers to enjoy comfort, warmth and light. The goal is to create a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

Every shade of white
The external glazed facades allow passengers to see the planes from every level of the building.
In the building, in order to attract light, the finishing materials are also mainly white, bright and reflective (e.g. marble floor, interior decoration, etc.).

A checkpoint area with touches of colour
In the checkpoint areas, at runway level, passengers can discover a bright openwork ceiling consisting of floating plates that are alternately close together and far apart. These panels allow the acoustics of the space to be controlled. Warm colours are used for the volume located above the false ceiling. The colour scheme of the ceiling was designed by visual artist Alain Bony (who also worked on the Quai Branly museum).

Elegance and refinement on the retail level
Elegance and quality were also priorities in the choice of materials on this level: marble floor, bright ceiling and storefronts decorated with lacquered steel combine to offer passengers a peaceful and warm atmosphere.
Access to the lounges at the top level is via a vast atrium that opens onto the lower level of the building. The white walls of the atrium are covered with bright padded panels.
The building is connected to the terminals by a completely glazed junction bridge with a peaceful view of an 8-metre wide interior garden. This touch of green also contributes to the building’s relaxing atmosphere.

HQE approach, “clean” worksite and rainwater recycling lead the way
Aéroports de Paris follows the High Environmental Quality (HQE) approach for the construction of the building connecting Terminals 2A and 2C. This approach consists of reducing environmental impacts, from design to construction of the building. It translates one of the commitments taken by Aéroports de Paris following the Grenelle de l’Environnement (French environmental round table).
• The external metal ribbon facing that surrounds the facade enables a 20% decrease in energy consumption thanks to the heat generated by the sun
• A pilot initiative was implemented to collect and reuse rainwater. Two tanks of 35,000 litres each will collect the water from the 4,500m² roof area, to supply the water distribution network for the restrooms and water the flowered outdoor plots
• The HQE approach also takes the impacts generated during building construction into account: waste, energy consumption and water. It also involves cleaning the trucks to avoid spreading dirt across the areas, and recycling of all waste
The connecting building is the first phase of a project aiming to completely renovate terminals 2A and 2C.

In the second half 2012, several developments will take place
In the airside area of terminal 2A, the opening of a new 1,000m² lounge on the arrivals level is planned. It will be adjacent to the South facade of the terminal and offer arriving passengers easy access to the immigration checkpoints.
Terminal 2A will undergo an in-depth facelift in the airside zone. Firstly, partitions will be removed in its boarding lounge, which is currently separated in two, to present passengers with an area of over 3,000m². A 500m2 mezzanine will overlook the lounge and house a high-end restaurant. Furthermore, this area will be entirely refurbished, with new shops, services, seating arrangements and restrooms.
In the public area between terminals A and C, a complete refurbishment of the retail area will take place between these two terminals and a reorganisation of passenger routes in order to facilitate their access to the connecting building. Also, new shops will be opened: a Press Kiosk, a Drugstore, a MacDonald’s and a restaurant, plus the creation of two heated waiting rooms for buses.
Then, in the second half of 2013, the refurbishment of public areas in the terminals will take place with the opening of a connecting building. This will allow the expansion of the public areas in terminals 2A and 2C by recovering 2,000m² of the floor area formerly occupied by the checkpoints. This will offer passengers a more spacious and user-friendly check-in area, with the installation of more seats and shops that is redesigned with an additional 2,300m².
The work on these terminals, including the new connecting building, represents an investment worth 106m Euros.

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