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IT TOOK four years and 450 tons of steel, working around five million passengers.

But now Portsmouth contractors Warings have finished work on the arrivals hall at Bournemouth International Airport.

The hall was the final piece of the £45m upgrade of the airport, and follows on from Warings’ construction of the departures terminal which opened last June.

There has been almost no disruption to flights during the four-year project.

The company, part of Bouygues, the global construction and services group, has also improved the airport’s apron and parking area.

Work is still under way on the airport, which has already been named as the most improved in Europe for customer satisfaction.

Now Warings will be busy completing the airport’s landscaping, and the whole project is set to finish later this summer.

The arrivals hall has been built from scratch and is among the greenest buildings of its kind on the planet.

The results of travellers surveyed at the airport on 30 of its features netted the airport a coveted Airport Service Quality award, which was presented at a ceremony in India in April.

Andy Matthews, Warings project manager, said: ‘This has been a fantastic project – challenging, highly technical and very demanding.

‘It’s a joy to hand it over to the client knowing that despite all of this we have not only enabled the airport to operate smoothly but already improved passengers’ experience tremendously.

‘It’s a fantastic achievement made all the more remarkable by this well-deserved award.

‘Now the airport is completely finished and the new arrivals hall is open, passengers will enjoy their experience here even more. The only way is up.’

Rob Goldsmith, managing director of Bournemouth Airport, added: ‘This is a massive achievement for the team and I am delighted that the hard work of everyone has been recognised at an international level.’