Marseille Provence International Airport (IATA: MRS) located in Marignane, France, is also referred to as Aéroport de Marseille Provence.

Owned by the Government of France, the public airport is managed by Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Marseille Provence airport is one of the busiest airports in the country, recognised as the fifth busiest according to passenger traffic and the third biggest by cargo handling capacity.

Passenger traffic at the airport has witnessed a significant rise over the last ten years. The airport handled approximately 9.4 million passengers in 2018.

A recent forecast estimated that the airport’s passenger traffic is expected to reach up to 11 million passengers a year by 2025.

Growing passenger demand has forced the airport’s authorities to undertake the terminal expansion project and streamline operations at the airport.

Marseille Provence International Airport expansion project details

The terminal expansion project is intended to increase the passenger handling capacity of terminal one from eight million to 12 million. It will increase the total passenger handling capacity of the airport to 16 million.

The project involves the construction of a new building to serve as a connecting link between the two existing halls of terminal one. The building will feature a glazed hall called Coeur (heart in English). It will be 22m-high and have an area of approximately 20,000m².

It is intended to streamline operations at the airport and offer an intuitive experience for the passengers. The new terminal extension will feature glass skylights, which will act as large lanterns allowing maximum natural light into the internal spaces. Large trees will be planted indoors aiming to create a relaxing ambience. The overall surface area of the terminal will be increased to 85,000m².

Construction work on the project is expected to be started in 2020. The Coeur structure will be completed under the first phase of the expansion for its opening in 2023. A new pier will be constructed over an area of 13,500m² to accommodate additional aerobridges during the second phase. It is scheduled for completion in 2027.

The project also involves rearrangement of the terminal facilities to create a large waiting area and enhance airport operations. Security checkpoints will also be centralised as part of the expansion.

Details of the existing facilities at the airport

Marseille Provence International Airport currently features two passenger terminal buildings, two runways, multiple parking facilities, and commercial spaces.

“The airport offers international and domestic flights to people in the Marignane territory and Marseille, with 38 scheduled airline services to more than 120 destinations.”

Designer Fernand Pouillon constructed the original passenger terminal building in the 1960s and it was extended by Richard Rogers in 1992. It is divided into two sections, namely Hall A and Hall B. Hall A features two boarding areas and four check-in counters, while Hall B has two check-in counters and two boarding areas.

The second terminal building was opened for traffic in September 2006. Designated as Mp2, the terminal is mainly used by low-cost airlines.

The airport’s two asphalt-paved runways measure 2,400m and 3,500m each.

There are five parking lots at the airport with a total of 13,500 parking spaces.

Terminal expansion contractors and funding

A consortium led by Foster + Partners was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the development of the terminal expansion project in November 2017.

The contract was awarded to the consortium through a design competition. The consortium includes Foster + Partners, WSP, and Tangram. Airbiz, EODD and Cyprium will also participate in the project as subcontractors.

CCI will invest €250m ($284.26m) for the development of the terminal expansion project. It will also upgrade the infrastructure at the airport with an estimated sum of €500m ($568.52m).

Marseille Provence International Airport history and details

The international airport started operations in the 1920s as Marseille-Marignane airport. It was initially used for the operation of flying boats and production of hydroplanes.

The airport offers international and domestic flights to people in the Marignane territory and Marseille, with 38 scheduled airline services to more than 120 destinations across 31 countries.

Passenger traffic at the airport has seen steady growth over the years, with approximately 8.5 million passengers passing through the airport and 52,207t of freight shipped in 2016.