More than 300,000 passengers and over 3,100 flights are expected to use Kaunas during the planned 35 day closure of Vilnius Airport.
New temporary terminals, additional car parks and a significant increase in staff have been deployed at Kaunas Airport to ensure that it is equipped to meet demand during its short stint as Lithuania’s main international airport.
Gediminas Almantas, CEO at Lithuanian Airports, believes that it is the first time ever that the activities of a bigger airport have been switched to a smaller one.
“Kaunas airport is three times smaller in the sence of infrasructure, staff and operations than Vilnius airport,” he explains.
“In order for Kaunas Airport to be able to handle with increased passenger and flights flows, it was necessary to create additional temporary and permanent infrastructure.”
Talking about the reconstruction of Vilnius Airport’s runway, he says: “Preparation works near the runway started this spring, and now the whole project comes to the second stage.
“The reconstruction work includes replacing the old pavement, reinforcing its foundation, installing new drainage and rainwater collection systems and reconstructing the lighting control system.
“After this period, from midnight on August 18, the official date of the opening of the renewed Vilnius Airport runway, final reconstruction works that will not interfere with the operation of Vilnius Airport will continue until autumn.”
According to Almantas, Kaunas Airport began preparing for the huge increase in traffic flows at the begining of the year.
“Two additional temporary passenger terminals were built next to the permanent Kaunas Airport terminal, the apron has been also extended and improved in efficiency,” he says.
“In the temporary departure terminal there are cafés, shops and the Business Lounge moved from Vilnius Airport.”
The airport has also added around 2,000 extra car parking spaces in its short-term and long-term parking facilities and will temporarily be home to hundreds of staff usually based in Vilnius.