Brussels Airport has officially opened the Connector building
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Brussels Airport has officially opened the Connector building

Brussels Airport has officially opened the Connector building, a major €75m investment designed to increase passenger comfort. The building links the terminal above-ground to the two piers so passengers need less time to go from the check-in to their boarding gate.

It means passengers can wait to board their plane in an “open and airy” building that besides a “spectacular” tarmac view offers shops and restaurants.

Four years after work started on the project Connector, described as the “new beating heart of the airport”, opened to the passengers on Thursday.

Connector is said to be the most important investment at the airport for over 15 years.

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, said, “Connector is the emblem of the strategy we adopted in 2012 and which places the passenger at the centre of everything we do. The first and foremost purpose of Connector is to further improve the quality of the airport infrastructure for our passengers and airlines.

“This investment is part of a vast investment program until 2015 of  €1bn of own funds which is to allow the airport to strengthen its competitive position whilst improving the infrastructure and customer service at the airport.”

Feist said passengers will now “easily win 5 to 10 minutes” to get to their boarding gate from check-in.

“There is no more the need to descend below tarmac level and more importantly, no more need to take the long, dark tunnel. The passenger stays above-ground in an open and airy building where they enjoy a magnificent view or the tarmac,” said Feist.

The new building uses seasonal thermal energy storage for cooling and heating purposes. STES covers about 70% of the energy needed to heat the building, and about 30% of the energy needed for cooling it.

Other features include:

The building makes maximum use of LED lighting to reduce the electricity consumption;

400 well-spaced loudspeakers with adjusted sound volume ensure that messages are easily understood without being a nuisance to the passengers;

The building has an insulation value of K20, whereas the legal standard is K40;

STES technology covers 70% of heating needs and 30% of cooling needs and

The rainwater from Connector’s roof is collected in a reservoir with a capacity of 670,000 litres, the annual water consumption of 98 households.

By Martin Banks