The snaking channel through duty-free at Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal will be ditched for a wide pathway leading straight to the airport lounges and departure gates as part of an extensive make-over of the terminal's passenger area.
While duty-free retail will remain on either side of this path, a spacious new 'orientation zone' and pathway signposted with walking time to the gates will give travellers a clear line of sight through to the escalators leading up to the Qantas lounges and T1's central core.
The current layout creates a bottleneck as outbound travellers are fed from the security screening channels into the duty-free store.
It's especially problematic during daily peak periods as well as holiday seasons, when occasional travellers gather at the entrance to the retail space either by array of duty-free delights or wondering "where do I go now?", much to the frustration of frequent flyers.
The terminal's retail footprint will also be overhauled once duty-free specialist Heinemann takes over in mid-February.
In March the current duty-free space will be relocated into the central area of T1 (above), which the airport describes as 'the forum' and has already been boarded up (below) as construction progresses on the new shopping space.
The duty-free zone at the airside entrance to T1 will be boarded up for its own make-over, and by year's end will re-open with a straight pathway cutting through the displays of liquor and perfumes.
Heinemann will add "more than 400 new brands" to the current retail range, according to Sydney Airport, along with "online shopping, mobile shopping (and a digital loyalty app)."
T1 will also pick up a new interior design intended to make the airport less generic and more strong associated with Sydney.
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