An airport terminal to cross in 3 minutes, at most

The new luxury terminal designed by One Works at Malpensa airport is designed for the future ‘democratisation’ of the business aviation.

One Works, Milano Prime Malpensa, 2019

It has recently inaugurated the new terminal Milano Prime designed by One Works in the airport of Milan Malpensa. The space is entirely dedicated to the business aviation, meaning the entire aviation sector that has business purposes – which includes the world of aerial work, the transport of organs and patients and official State transport – but also all those who own or use private jets and helicopters. One Works’ terminal for SEA Prime – the company that manages the General Aviation and Business infrastructures in Linate and Malpensa – has an area of 1,400 sqm with five lounges and a meeting room, and is located on a 50,000 sqm yard that serves two landing strips, a VIP car park and a 5,000 sqm hangar.

The project has expanded an existing building with spaces oriented towards the landscape for a better experience of the business user who often comes to Milan to participate to the various design and fashion weeks. If standard airports for ‘normal’ travellers concentrate their efforts on restaurants and shops, in the business terminal it is exactly the opposite. No commercial services, just bathrooms, lounges and a meeting room.

“Our customers expect speed, even more than excellent reception levels,” explains Marco Funel, Commercial Development Manager at SEA Prime. “This is calculated from the moment they get off the plane to the moment they sit on board. We try to keep this time below 3 minutes, at most. Then they look for privacy and retreat. We have many customers who are show business and sports celebrities who obviously live these places as a happy and protected island from where to start their travels.” The most important service, in fact, is that offered to aircrafts thanks to a hangar for the shelter and maintenance of jets, real jewels whose management is particularly onerous for a private owner.

One Works, terminal Milano Prime Malpensa, 2019
One Works, Milano Prime Malpensa Terminal, 2019

Luxury aviation, therefore, passes through small, neutral and uncluttered spaces, designed to be crossed quickly. Even the police’s offices are camouflaged behind milky-white glass walls without signage. If, for the time being, we are talking about elite spaces for a small slice of the population that can afford it, the scenario is meant to change.

“Today we are living a moment that many call the ‘democratization’ of business aviation,” says Funel, “with opportunities to buy flights on a private jet that are within the reach of – almost – everyone.” Starting with the marketing of empty legs: anyone will have the opportunity to buy those routes that airlines cannot sell when they put them on the market.

The private jet that takes a traveller to Nice for the weekend, will not stay waiting for him for the whole time, but will return to its base, empty. That return flight is an empty leg, and the companies are trying to sell these spaces at ‘relatively’ low costs (meaning 90% less than the full price, but we are still talking about figures that do not fall below 600/700 euros for a single route). “We are trying to encourage and accompany these market developments with appropriate and welcoming structures, both for the passenger and for the air operator,” concludes Funel. Is the face of airports destined to change radically with increasingly smaller and more personalized spaces according to the users it hosts? We’ll find out, soon enough.

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