- The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority has received proposals for the new $163.5 million security area at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA, and should have contract negotiations wrapped up in time to begin construction later this month, according to WTOP News.
- The new security area will replace checkpoints at terminals A and B. Although the completed project will accommodate more passengers, necessary lane closures during construction are expected to add to pick-up and drop-off congestion.
- The project, according to a June Washington Business Journal report, is part of a larger, $245 million, 28-lane security upgrade at the airport, just one phase of a $1 billion overhaul. Other segments of work include a $360 million concourse and $400 million of site and preconstruction work.
Achieving increased passenger and plane capacity are two primary goals of major terminal construction projects.
Denver International Airport will be able to accommodate 80 million passengers a year after a Ferrovial-led team completes a $650 million renovation of the Jeppesen Terminal. Ferrovial will also manage the concessions there for 34 years under the terms of its $1.8 billion public-private partnership with the city of Denver. The entire project will be funded through airport revenue.
Sometimes, however, the goal of airport planners is to adjust to reduced traffic. Pittsburgh International Airport is getting ready to embark on a $1.1 billion reconfiguration that will reduce its passenger capacity from 32 million to more than 18 million. The existing airport sees a little more than eight million fliers annually. A combination of revenue streams from sources like bonds, passenger charges and on-site natural gas drilling will help pay for the project.
These large, capital projects often don’t qualify for the Federal Aviation Administration grants that pay for basic improvements to airport features like signage and runways. Year to date, the agency has awarded $2.3 billion of Airport Improvement Project (AIP) grants from an available annual budget of $3.35 billion. These grants have helped more than 1,200 facilities this year, but are only a tiny part of what U.S. airports need to meet their basic needs.
According to a March report from The Airports Council International-North America, it would take $100 billion to make all the necessary repairs and infrastructure upgrades to U.S. airports. That amount is double what airports take in through user fees and other revenues.