Vienna International Airport (VIE) announced that it is expanding its cargo facility by 30 percent this year, and expects to have an additional 15,000 square meters of warehouse space operational by the end of this year. The €16 million addition will feature solar-power panels that will be “one of the country’s largest rooftop photovoltaic electricity generating facilities,” the airport announced.
The addition is taking place in conjunction with a series of expansions at VIE, including a 140,000-square-meter office park. The airport plans to “target international firms, especially Brexit refugees from Great Britain, in light of the fact that we boast a unique location in the heart of Europe,” said Günther Ofner, member of the management board of VIE’s operating company, Flughafen Wien AG.
The move makes sense, given the airport’s steady increase in cargo volumes in recent years. The latest numbers for the first three quarters of fiscal 2016 showed cargo volume up 5 percent, year-over-year (y-o-y), to 208,830 tonnes. VIE also reported a y-o-y growth in cargo volumes of 4.8 percent between October 2016, and 2015.
“At present, about 800 tonnes of freight are handled daily at the airport, or about 280,000 tonnes annually, showing a clear upward trend,” said Ofner. “For example, half of the export production value of Lower Austrian industry of €8 billion is transported from Vienna Airport throughout the world via air cargo. These investments are designed to generate further growth potential at the airport site and for the Austrian economy, but, above all, to create new jobs in the logistics sector.”
Full-cargo flights make up about half of the volume at VIE, with the rest arriving/leaving in belly holds.
Flughafen Wien AG was also pretty stoked about reducing its environmental footprint. The airport already has 5,000 square meters of solar panels installed on the rooftops of other airport buildings. The new facilities’ solar array will double the air hub’s existing electricity-generating capacity.