Airport news

2017 01 03

Survey: More than a Half of the Country’s Residents are Aware of the Approaching Reconstruction of the Runway in Vilnius Airport

Vilnius Airport is carefully preparing for the reconstruction of the runway that will take place in summer of the current year, from 14 July to 18 August. To find out how aware the residents of Lithuania are about this and what they think about the project, in 2016 the market research company “Spinter” carried out a survey* of residents on behalf of Lithuanian Airports and discovered that people know about the reconstruction, but only a small part of them have comprehensive information.

More than a half heard about it, one in five knows the details

According to the results of the survey, 57 per cent of survey participants claimed they had information about the planned runway reconstruction, including 15 per cent who also knew the details of the project, while 42 per cent were simply aware of the fact itself.

“We started talking about the reconstruction almost two years ago. The fact that over a half of the participants heard at least something about the reconstruction shows that we are going in the right direction since we reached not only the residents of major cities, but also various regions of Lithuania.

The reconstruction of the runway in Vilnius Airport is one of the most important projects this year; therefore, in the coming months we will devote even more attention to communication. We will seek to provide as many residents of the country as possible with accurate information about the reconstruction, to inform passengers for them to be able to plan their trips properly in advance,” said Donatas Voveris, the Head of Airport Network at Lithuanian Airports.

Although more than a half of the country’s residents have heard about the runway reconstruction, the survey showed that only one in five participants knows the details about the project. The correct reconstruction start date, 14 July 2017, was specified by a quarter (23 per cent) of all participants, most of them women residing in major cities.

The same number of participants correctly specified the reasons for the reconstruction: the runway has not been reconstructed for a long time, is in poor technical condition and is close to critical state. D. Voveris emphasised that the last time when the runway was reconstructed was 20 years ago, so reconstruction is essential for ensuring the safety of flights.

No major inconvenience is anticipated

Operations of Vilnius Airport will be completely suspended for 35 days starting with 14 July 2017. During the reconstruction, no flights will take place either to or from Vilnius Airport, and most flights will be directed to Kaunas Airport.

The survey that was conducted by “Spinter” showed that most residents approve of the decision to close the airport entirely for 35 days to reconstruct it: 77 per cent of participants expressed this opinion. Forty-five per cent of them stated that it is better to close the runway and to fix it fully than to carry out lengthy repairs and disrupt flight schedules, while the remaining 32 per cent of participants are convinced that flight safety is of major importance.

According to the survey, the reconstruction of the runway will not cause any major problems for most residents. As many as 79 per cent of participants supported this view, and 2 per cent of them stated that the reconstruction will cause some inconvenience, while the remaining 57 per cent anticipate not problems at all.

“The number of passengers in Vilnius Airport is rapidly growing; in November alone, compared to the same period last year, the number of passengers increased by 12 per cent. Passengers are our primary concern, so it is very important for us to make sure that they are positive and understanding. We are planning the reconstruction process very carefully and we are creating additional infrastructure in Kaunas Airport. Our goal is minimise inconvenience to passengers as well as our partners,” stated D. Voveris.

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