More than $133 million is headed for airports in the Southeast, as part of almost $1 billion earmarked by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Terminal Program. Nine airports from Florida to North Carolina will benefit from the first of five annual $1-billion commitments from the FAA program, according to a USDOT announcement July 7.
The airports in the Southeast are among 85 across the country included in the first round of awards, set to be spent on new construction, renovation and expansion at small and large airports across five states. Funding is from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Historically, the FAA has invested in runways, traffic-control towers and airport infrastructure each year. The ATP is the first time since 2009's Obama-era American Recover and Reinvestment Act that airports have had new additional funding from the federal government, the FAA says.
The airport terminal program received more than 650 applications totaling $14 billion in projects, the FAA says.
At the Orlando International Airport, $50 million will help fund construction of new gates capable of serving four wide-body or eight narrow-body aircraft, increasing capacity, providing accessibile facilities. The project is aimed at LEED green- building certification, according to the release.
"The money will move our designs forward to reinstate construction of four originally planned gates at Terminal C, increasing capacity and efficiency for our passengers," says Kevin Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
At the Asheville, N.C., regional airport, $15 million will go toward construction of an air traffic control tower to replace the existing 61-year-old tower. It is also an enabling project for the expansion and renovation of the terminal, helping to achieve increased capacity. The project also includes replacing aging and obsolete infrastructure and improving safety and energy efficiency.
"The air traffic control tower here is one of the oldest operating control towers in the country," says Tina Kinsey, a spokesperson for the Asheville Regional Airport.
The old tower is adjacent to the terminal and needs to be relocated as a stand-alone tower, she adds.
Funding from the ATP also will help pave the way for phasing of the airport's larger, four- to five-year, $250-million effort to double the size of its terminal, add five gates, add a central energy plant and expanded ticketing, baggage claim, gates and concessions areas set to break ground in 2023, Kinsey says.
The $15 million in ATP funding will be folded into a $50-million project to construct the new tower, a 13,000-sq-ft building for FAA offices, engineering and maintenance space and the Terminal Radar Approach Control facility.
In Chattanooga, Tenn., $5 million will fund phase one of a terminal expansion project to enlarge the airport’s second level by almost 27,000 sq ft, according to the USDOT release. The expansion includes two new gates, one expanded gate, restrooms, and additional passenger queuing, holding room and circulation space.
A smaller, $475,000 grant will go to Crossville, Tennessee’s Crossville Memorial Airport to help bring the terminal building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In Huntsville, Ala., $10 million will replace aging elevators, escalators and mechanical equipment, as well as add one elevator and three escalators, new terminal and concourse restrooms and other amenities.
In Gainesville, Fla., $1.67 million will improve a multimodal ground transportation facility, including covered and lit accessible walkways to the commercial airline terminal, a covered passenger waiting area, accessible restrooms and queuing lanes for taxis and city buses.
At Sarasota, Fla.’s Bradenton International Airport, $10 million will fund a new Concourse A Ground Boarding Facility to add five new gates and hold rooms, add four security checkpoint lanes and replace the existing two-chiller central energy plant. Concourse B will be improved with expanded holding rooms, additional escalators, modified gate entrances and upgraded power and communications equipment.
In Atlanta, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, $40 million will go to modernizing the 40-year-old Concourse D, as well as enlarging holding rooms, restrooms and the central corridor. Updates will increase passenger capacity, ADA compliance and help the airport achieve LEED Gold certification.
The program rejected an application from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where a spokesperson says the airport sought more than $167.5 million for its $231-million Concourse A Expansion Phase II.
Construction is moving forward anyway. Work began in May by the JE Dunn and McFarland Joint Venture. There will be 10 new gates north of Concourse A on land that was formerly the rental car facility, adding nearly 200,000 sq ft to the 1.8-million-sq-ft terminal.
Charlotte-Douglas plans to apply for funding again in next year’s round of grants as it continues work on its Destination CLT development program, which encompasses $3.1 billion in capital investment.