In 2002 the handled cargo volume has increased by more than 1 300 tons when compared to the previous year. Riga International Airport has never faced such an important increase in cargo volume before.
Of all the carries providing scheduled flights, “ČSA” achieved the highest growth of both cargo volume and passengers figures; while “Aeroflot” had the highest rate of cargo volume. Contrary to passenger figures, cargo volume dropped by 20.9% for “British Airways” and by 10.5% for “Lufthansa” for the second year. Cargo volume also slightly decreased also for “Finnair”. Nevertheless, “Finnair” is the major air cargo carrier in Riga with 20% of the total cargo volume handled at the airport ((25% in 2001); followed by “Air Baltic” with 16% (21% in 2001); “SAS” with 15% (18% in 2002); “ČSA” with 7% (6% in 2001); “Aeroflot” with 6% (5% in 2001); “Lufthansa” with 5% (7% in 2001); and “British Airways” with 2% in 2001).
|Finnair||934||1 323||1 308||-1.1|
|Air Baltic||1 041||1 099||1 045||-4.9|
|White Eagle Aviation||190||101|
|Total||4 658||5 209||6 580||26.3|
Table 5. Cargo transportation (t)
Modernization and extension of the airport
During the report year attention was paid to the reinforcement and technical upgrading of aviation security measures. “Riga” Airport investment in aviation security has always been balanced. In view of the 11th September terrorist attacks the airport carried out unscheduled activities to reinforce security, transferring a major part of the investment initially planned for infrastructure development to security.
In the middle of 2002 cargo X-ray equipment was obtained and installed. Latvia is a member of European Aviation Conference (ECAC), which set 1 January 2003 the deadline for the introduction of the 100% screening of checked baggage at international airports. If this requirement had not been met, the aircraft departing from Riga would have faced long handling delays at other European airports; while all the baggage arriving from “Riga” airport would have been subject to time-consuming security controls. At the end of 2002 “Riga” airport launched automatic baggage screening equipment- which is a part of the common baggage security control system- to provide maximum safety and convenience for passengers. The producer of the equipment is the well-known company ‘Heimann”. The system facilitates three-level baggage control. The automatic baggage screening equipment has the capacity to process 1 200 baggage units per hour. Accordingly, two systems facilitate security control of 2 400 baggage units per hour. The installed equipment ensures security control fully compliant with the EU requirements in the field of aviation security. In addition to baggage control equipment, a computer room was arranged and 47 airport employees were trained. Altogether, security equipment and the reconstruction of baggage conveyors cost the airport 1.6 million EUR.
To reinforce security in the major areas and facilities at the airport, the aircraft handling area and the technical area of the airfield was fenced off and a checkpoint was arranged.
During the report year the 2nd and 3rd floor reconstruction of the passenger terminal continued. Airline agencies moved to comfortable offices and after the reconstruction the 3rd level of passenger terminal was opened. After many years the restaurant run by the well-known Latvian company “Lido” has been opened at the airport. The airport guests have an opportunity both to enjoy the “Lido” menu and have a panoramic view over the airfield, which was impossible for a long time due to the reconstruction. The terminal has also become friendlier to passengers with special needs, as the lift facilitates access to any level of the terminal.
In the winter season airfield maintenance requires extra effort and costs. It is extremely important to ensure the airport operation irrespective of the weather and provide all flights according to the flight schedule. Therefore the airport has upgraded transport and emergency systems by obtaining two multi-functional airfield maintenance vehicles produced by the well-known company “Marcel Boschung AG”. The vehicles remove snow from runway, taxiways and apron areas and provide anti-icing of surfaces. In the summer season the vehicles are used to collect garbage and dust.
Equipment for the treatment of land amelioration systems, loading and digging was obtained. An airfield area of 10 ha was cleared of underbrush, thus increasing ground capacity.
“Riga” airports is the second of the European airports having introduced the passenger loyalty programme N.O.V.A. to the benefit of our passengers, despite the fact that it does not bring the airport any extra profit. However, the programme enables the airport to keep in touch with passengers regularly and not only while they are travelling.
SJSC Riga International Airport ended the financial year 2002 with 202.4 thousand LVL profit. Aviation services with 6 242 100 LVL or 75% account for the major revenue share of economic activity. Revenue share of other services increased year on the year and amounted to 2 033 400 LVL in 2002.
Runway and airport infrastructure maintenance, salaries, and credit interest payments comprise the major expenditure share of economic activity.
In 2002 the airport continued to invest resources in the development of infrastructure and purchasing of runway maintenance equipment. One of the main investments was purchasing of a new automatic baggage screening to provide maximum safety for passengers.