Passenger facilities at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) are setting new standards of excellence with the opening of the Airport Commercial Centre and Car Park project. Located adjacent to the airport terminal, the KD 18 million (US$60 million) project, comprises two distinct elements:
The 32,000 sq m Commercial Centre complex linked directly to the terminal’s Arrival and Departure halls; Extension of the airport’s short and long-term public car parking facilities.
The ultra-modern architecture of the project complements the unique design of the airport’s existing terminal, opened in 1980, which is modeled on the shape of a wide body aircraft. Viewed from the air, the Commercial Centre project is truly eye-catching, the scalloped roof panels resembling the jet "wake" or vapour trail of an aircraft streaming away from the main terminal building. The effect is further enhanced using different color shades on each panel. Equally impressive is the interior of the multi-level complex, the soaring, streamlined structure making maximum use of natural light through extensive glazing. Two voids in the upper floor enable natural light to cascade down to the Arrival level, increasing the breathtaking sense of scale.
Phase 1 — the ground floor Arrivals level and car parking — was inaugurated on 8 May 2002 under the auspices of H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Minister of Communications –Chairman of the Supreme Council of Civil Aviation, in the presence of members of the Supreme Council and DGCA top management, as well as representatives of companies and airlines operating at Kuwait International Airport.Precise planning has ensured an exciting commercial concessions programmed on the Arrivals level, with an eclectic mix of shops, services, and food and beverage outlets flanking both sides of the spacious central plaza.
Although for practical reasons — mainly provision of essential services such as ventilation and fume extraction — the main cafés are located in one zone, wherever possible, KUCM has carefully interspersed the range and types of outlet. Designed to appeal to three main customer groups — arriving passengers, meters and greeters, and airport staff/casual visitors — the concessions programmed encompasses a broad mix of topflight local and international retailers and service providers. The open layout of the complex helps to eradicate bottlenecks and ease passenger flows at peak periods. The central plaza leads directly out to the kerbside pick-up zone, and on to the car parks via revelators.
A key element in the development has been provision of ample parking, with space provided for almost 2,500 vehicles in both short and long-term zones. Around 70% of the total are in the multi-storey short-stay garage, a 120,000 sq m three-level facility located immediately adjacent to the Commercial Centre. A further 670 spaces are located in fully shaded long-term parking lots just a short distance away. Both short and long-term car parks are fully automated with prepayment stations located within the terminal building.