The future face of Orly


We take a look at Paris Orly Airport, who are kick-starting an improvement programme that will run to 2018

orlyLocated just 12km from Paris city centre and providing easy access and use, Paris Orly Airport specialises in ‘point to point’ traffic, particularly for destinations in France, Europe, North Africa and overseas territories. The airport is highly valued by both its French and business customers, who benefit greatly from its very short taxiing times between terminals and runways.

The airport’s owners, Aéroports de Paris (ADP), announced in October of this year that a major expansion programme was to commence to merge the two existing terminals into one single terminal, which will be capable of handling up to 40m passengers per annum.

The project, worth an estimated €450m, will not simply renovate part of the airport, but will literally give the south of Paris a completely new airport. ADP plan to inject such momentum that upon the work’s completion in 2018, the airport will offer the best European standards in terms of quality of service and comfort, as recently achieved by the company at its Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

As it stands

Currently, Orly Airport comprises two separate terminals, Orly Ouest and Orly Sud. The latter is used primarily for long distance departures and boasts two split level concourses, while the former concentrates more on the short haul side of the operation, with its three levels and two concourses. In total they offer 72 gates, 65 air bridges and 220 check in desks.

The merging of the two terminals is an important step for Orly Airport, as passenger numbers through the facility continue to reach healthy levels. Indeed, in 2011 the facility served 27.1m passengers – their second best performance since their record breaking year in 1996, which saw 27.4m passengers pass through their doors.

In addition to increased capacity potential, the upgrades to the airport will also allow much larger aircraft to operate from Orly, including the world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380.

The new face of Paris-Orly Airport: one single terminal

The plan was officially made public on 17 October, when Aéroports de Paris unveiled its six-year project to transform the facility. Modernism, quality of service, large well-lit spaces and easy navigation will be the objectives for this new airport.

Aéroports de Paris wants to bring new cohesion to Paris-Orly Airport, with more open spaces, new volumes and simplified routes for passengers and transport professionals, a new step towards improving quality of service and comfort.

Once the work is complete, passenger welcome areas will boast an additional surface area of 100,000 m² (the current total surface area being 290,000m²).

Hence, this is not just one but several projects, whose sole purpose is to bring a new dimension, new ambition and new consistency to Paris-Orly Airport, with:

• The creation of a new departure lounge at the East end of the South terminal

• The complete redevelopment of the areas outside the terminals and the car park accesses

• A flagship project with the construction of a connecting building between the existing West and South terminals.


It is necessary to go further today in order to remain competitive, and ADP plan to:

• Adapt the airport to its changing traffic structure by building a new departure lounge dedicated to international flights

• Improve the airport’s servicing by public transport. All the areas outside the terminals and the car park accesses will be revamped. New pedestrian areas will be created to provide interfaces with the new transport services chosen by the STIF transport authority and Greater Paris transport network Société du Grand Paris (T7, line 14, green line, T5, TGV)

• Upgrade facilities’ comfort level and provide passengers with new spaces by connecting the West and South terminals. A single terminal. Better passenger flow. A better airport.


Pierre Graff, CEO at ADP commented: “This transformation will mean much bigger spaces for our passengers, with a 35% bigger surface area by 2018. Paris-Orly Airport has already been renovated inside many times since its opening in 1961. Hall 2 in the West Terminal was renovated in 2006, the international circuits were reorganised in 2008, and the Place de la Madeleine food hall opened in West Terminal in December 2011.

“By 2018, Paris-Orly Airport will be synonymous with one single terminal.Our project is not to simply renovate Paris-Orly Airport, but to bring about its complete transformation. It is a new and more modern long-term vision, adapted to current expectations and constraints. The entire passenger journey through the airport has been rethought, involving all airport stakeholders.

“For both our passengers and the airlines based at Paris-Orly, we needed a new and ambitious project for this airport, so we can remain competitive vis-à-vis our foreign competitors. All this will, of course, be done in strict compliance with the environmental constraints the airport has adhered to for many years now.

“To achieve this result, Aéroports de Paris is investing almost €450m into the project over the next six years, with no government aid. And the transformation is starting now.”


Paris-Orly in figures

• In 2011, 27.1 million passengers and 228,000 aircraft movements

• Two terminals:

• Orly-West: 16,011,243 passengers (2011)

• Orly-South: 11,127,833 passengers (2011)

• Total surface area of 1,540 hectares

• Two main runways and one secondary runway

• Average aircraft taxiing time: 6 minutes

• 40 regular destinations in 40 countries

Jobs generated by the airport: 85,000 jobs, including 27,000 direct jobs from 325 businesses.


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