Passenger traffic, upon reaching record-heights at Vilnius Airport, has created a problem of traffic jam increasingly more urgent in its surroundings. It is supposed that during peak hours, the traffic jams formed on the ramped approach to the departure terminal are determined not only by large flows of seeing-off people, transport flows of taxi drivers and riders, but also by offenders of the traffic rules. This situation is attempted to be solved by installing a more effective control system of short stops and traffic flow.
Airport representatives claim that in some cases, seeing-off persons do not comply with requirements of the traffic rules on the ramped approach. They not only see off passengers, but also simply stand in unauthorized places of the ramped approach too long, what results in the formation of traffic jams. Namely therefore it is planned to install a clearly understandable drop-off system or a Kiss and Fly analogue. The aforementioned system will be barrierless, will provide make better conditions for controlling passenger drop-off time, whereas the its technical operation principle has been borrowed from the solution most often applied in parking lots at shopping centers.
“We have very clearly identified the capacity problem of the ramped approach and of the jams forming there that maybe not only a cause of particular incidents in the future, but also has a negatively affect the convenience of passengers arriving to the airport. Urban zones getting a bigger vehicle flow have applied solutions - since long ago – license plates of the cars arriving to a specific parking lot are recorded, and, if a specific time is not exceeded after a visit, they may leave the parking lot free of charge. We will apply the very similar solution also in this case, moreover, that the analogous practice is used in a number of airports abroad”, stated the Director of Vilnius Airport Dainius Čiuplys.
According to the director, talking about further future and reconstruction of the whole complex of the old airport, the ramped approach will be abandoned and traffic will take place in a circle, whereas the whole transport (departing and arriving) will be accumulated in front of the airport in one parking lot combining all the current short-term parking lots.
After the drop-off system is launched, drivers who will want to drop off passengers at the departure terminal will b able to do this really conveniently and free of charge, however, upon arriving to the ramped approach they will be informed that the passenger drop-off time is up to 10 minutes. This time is intended to stop, unload things and bid farewell to the family members. It is not allowed to leave a car unattended or impede traffic. Such a solution of the problem has already been introduced to both, taxi and rider service companies.
In the near future, the process for the procurement of the installation of a barrierless control solution will be started. The system should become operational at the end of this summer.
The installation of the new traffic control on the ramped approach should help reduce the number of traffic rules violations and the number of fines imposed, as well as optimize the need for police capacities in this section, speed up the departure of passengers. To ensure operation of this system, airport representatives will rearrange the existing transport scheme – the first lane will have specially marked spaces for passenger drop off, whereas the second lane will be dedicated only for passing vehicles.
So far, discussions have been held only about a specific period of time which will be allocated for driving up for a specific car, dropping-off passengers, as well as the level of the fee for the transport that exceeded the fixed period of time.
According to representatives of Vilnius Airport, before launching the system it will be tested for some time and adjusted, as required.
About Vilnius Airport
Vilnius Airport belongs to the Lithuanian airport network that operates three airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga. During 2018, they serviced 6.3 million passengers and 61 thousand flights. During the summer season, 14 airlines organize direct flights in 86 regular directions to 67 cities in 27 countries. Based on the data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute to the Lithuania’s GDP by 2.5 percent.