Airside smoking takes off
Passengers using Aberdeen International Airport can, from today, light up before they take off – thanks to the opening of an airside smoking shelter.
The shelter has been opened to the public this morning, adjacent to the main departure lounge, for customers who have been processed through security and are waiting for their flight.
It comes after more than 400 people who took part in a survey last year said they would like to see an airside facility of this kind installed. It is designed to reduce the number of full terminal evacuations. Many such evacuations are caused when passengers light up in prohibited areas, activating the smoke alarms at a cost of thousands of pounds per evacuation and causing major disruption and delays.
Interestingly, even 61% of non-smokers who took part in the survey said they supported an airside smoking shelter.
Since that survey was completed the airport team have been working on the project, to ensure it is accessible, compliant and secure, and today the facility opened to the public for the first time – ahead of the planned timescale. It is hoped that the facility will also, as an added benefit, encourage passengers to spend more of their airport visit relaxing in the departure lounge, cutting down on instances of smoking at the front of the terminal building.
Those wishing to use it will pay a fee of £1, with the money being used to support the maintenance and upkeep of the facility.
Kevin Douglas is the Terminal Operations Manager at Aberdeen International Airport. He said; “We have been working behind the scenes on this project for some time, in order to ensure that the facility is in line with Scottish legislation, and of course is compliant from a safety and security perspective. We are a tightly controlled and regulated business, and introducing smoking to an airside area must bring with it strict controls.
It is our hope that the facility will be well received by our customers and will reduce or eliminate the inconvenience associated with smoking in a restricted area.”