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Skyhub gets ready for takeoff

24.03.08

Skyhub, Glasgow Airport's new £31m extension, is to transform the experience for passengers and reduce waiting times for security checks to five minutes for 95% of travellers. Due to open on October 21, it is the biggest single investment at the airport since the international pier opened in 1994.

The futuristic building is taking shape on the site of the walkway between the main terminal and T2. It will include the most advanced security zone in the UK. All passengers will be channelled through the two-storey hub, which will also have bars, shops and restaurants.

The 4000sq ft area will be bathed in natural light, as the entire front of the building will be covered in translucent cladding. The revolutionary system, called Kalwall, was used at Orlando Sanford Airport in Florida and Nasa's base at Cape Canaveral. The material is energy efficient, allows daylight to flood into the interior of the building and retains heat.

More than £3m of the building cost has been spent on a bomb-proof steel cage, which is wrapped under the structure. 88 pillars have been sunk 120ft into the ground to ensure Skyhub's foundations can withstand a terrorist attack.

M&S Simply Food, a JD Wetherspoon pub and a New York-style bar and restaurant - Frankie and Benny's - will be on the ground floor, with the security zone and a new World Duty Free store upstairs, leading to the remodelled main terminal.

A second phase of the development will break ground in the autumn and is due to be completed by the end of next year. The existing three security areas, at international, domestic and the east pier, will be converted into shop space, lounge and leisure facilities.

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