The new E wing set to open for business at Ben Gurion airport on Thursday will increase capacity at Terminal 3 by 1,800 passengers per hour, Globes reported.
The new addition includes waiting areas, eight departure gates, four gates to buses, stores, restaurants, business lobbies, technical, logistical and cargo facilities and areas for maintenance services for the airlines.
E wing also boasts an array of innovations, including: telescopic glass entryways and bridges to aircraft and double bridges for wide-bodied aircraft, for more convenient and faster boarding and disembarking from both the front and the back of the plane.
The wing was designed by architect Moshe Safdie with assistance from architect Irit Kohavi.
The opening is part of a multi-year expansion program at Ben-Gurion aimed at coping with an ongoing surge in passenger traffic. The number of people going through the airport is up 17 percent from last year. Over 20 million have passed through already this year; next year the Ministry of Transport expects 23 million passengers, and 30 million by 2024. The change is attributed to the Open skies policy which gave foreign airlines greater access.
Over the past year, Terminal 1 for departing passengers on low-cost airlines has been renovated and reopened with a new duty free area. Passengers no longer depart via Terminal 3 but are bussed directly to planes from Terminal 1. The number of passengers using Terminal 1 is expected to more than double from 1.4 million this year to over 3 million by 2019. Ultimately, passengers on low-cost flights will also enter Israel through Terminal 1 instead of Terminal 3.