A EUR 100 million master plan has been granted approval by the Planning Authority of Malta for Malta International Airport. In February 2018, the Planning Authority officially gave the go-ahead for the project, which will see three additional SkyPark blocks being built. Echoing the style of the existing SkyParks, one of these blocks will be replacing the McDonald's restaurant and drive-through currently in place. Another will be replacing the petrol station and carpark which are currently located just outside the fast-food establishment. The new buildings will be used for offices, shops, catering, entertainment venues, and a hotel. The site, having an area of approximately 173,000 m², consists of the Malta International Airport (MIA) grounds in Vjal l-Avjazzjoni in Luqa. The site falls within the boundary of the previously approved Master Plan for the MIA issued on 31 July 1997. The massive project will be rolled out in three major stages, with today's PA approval giving the green light to proceed to the initial planning stages. In the last quarter of 2018, works will start on a multistorey parking garage which will provide more than 1,300 parking spaces. Malta International Airport’s infrastructure has benefitted from an expenditure of more than EUR 110 million, including the Terminal Reconfiguration Project and the development of the SkyParks Business Centre. The company’s master plan was subjected to a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as part of which a public consultation period gave local stakeholders, environmental NGOs, and Government authorities the opportunity to review the master plan and submit their observations. “Through this sizeable investment, we expect to solidify Malta International Airport’s important role in the local economy, as we unlock its potential to welcome more tourists and generate further employment opportunities. We also envisage that this programme will build on the successes of past investments and go on to grow the airport campus into a go-to destination for business and leisure,” said MIA CEO Alan Borg. In the short term, the company’s focus will be the completion of its terminal reconfiguration project, which has already delivered a number of improvements within the building. In parallel with this, the airport company and its consultants will be working on drafting design plans for a lateral expansion of the terminal. The company will also continue evolving the surrounding airport campus into a business and leisure complex. #1072.4