March 19 2024  |  Airlines & Airports

US airports embark on ambitious expansions and overhauls

By Wendy Morley

O’Hare 21 is Chicago’s vision for a modern airport that will be an efficient and accessible international gateway, transforming the airport from curb to gate and meet the needs of the traveling public through the 21st century and beyond

A noticeable gap between the rapid growth of air travel, the diverging needs of travelers and the outdated condition of many airports has been apparent throughout the US. Despite the increase in passengers and flights, numerous airports still operate with facilities and designs that have barely changed since the 1970s. This situation has only become more critical as air traffic has grown, highlighting the inability of these older airports to handle the current volume of passengers and flights efficiently.

Contrast this with stunning airports pushing the boundaries of what an airport could be – Changi or Doha as prime examples – and the US seems very far behind indeed. This mismatch affects passenger experience and puts the airports themselves in a state where they are not receiving all possible revenue, underscoring a pressing need for comprehensive renovations and updates to meet modern demands.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden’s famous comment in 2014 likening LaGuardia to an airport in a third-world country may not have been the catalyst for all the phenomenal rebuilds taking place right now, but its timing was providential. Since then several substantial builds and renovations have been planned or executed, not the least of which has been LaGuardia itself.

Preparing for 100 million

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is set to embark on a significant expansion with the new Terminal F and the reconstruction of Terminal C. With a projected cost of US$1.6 billion for Terminal F, construction is expected to commence this year and conclude by 2026. This new terminal will be situated south of Terminal D and will include a 15-gate concourse.

With an estimated budget of US$2.72 billion, Terminal C will undergo a major overhaul aimed at updating the facility to better accommodate the needs of Fort Worth-based American Airlines. Scheduled for completion by 2028, this project involves the removal of over 400 columns to enhance walkability, and the installation of tall glass windows. This ambitious endeavor is part of a broader plan to cater to growing passenger traffic, which is expected to reach 100 million people annually by 2030.

Charm and convenience

Dubbed “Elevate BUR,” construction of a new replacement passenger terminal has officially begun at Hollywood Burbank Airport. The ground breaking took place on January 25, 2024, marking a significant milestone for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority (BGPAA). This project aims to create a safer, modern and more convenient facility. The new 33,000-square-meter terminal will enhance the overall passenger experience, promising a variety of shopping and dining options, upgraded restrooms, and more spacious areas for passengers.

The team is aiming for a minimum of LEED Silver certification to ensure sustainability. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2026 with a budget of approximately US$1.25 billion. It will be funded without state, county, or local taxes, reflecting the community's dedication to maintaining the charm and convenience the airport is known for.

20-year plan

San Antonio International Airport is embarking on an ambitious expansion with the development of a new terminal. This major component of a comprehensive 20-year, US$2.5 billion strategic development plan aims to elevate the airport to meet and surpass the city's stature and aspirations. Slated to begin in 2024 and be completed by 2028, this project encompasses a broad scope of improvements. The new terminal will exceed the combined size of the current terminals, featuring up to 17 gates, expansive passenger departure and arrival lanes and enhanced club lounges within a sprawling 74,300-square-meter space.

New space, new concessions

The upcoming interior remodel of O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 3 is set to be a significant overhaul with a budget of US$200 million. This project will focus on enhancing passenger space, streamlining security checkpoints, upgrading baggage areas and adding new concessions. The remodel aims to reconfigure the TSA checkpoint for new screening technologies, expand the passenger corridor between concourses K and L, renovate restrooms, and add 930 square meters of new concessions space.

Additionally, Terminal 3 will see an expansion project adding three new gates, providing more space for concessions and gate hold rooms. This remodel is part of broader efforts to modernize the airport and improve the overall passenger experience, complementing other ongoing projects like the Terminal 2 expansion and the Terminal 5 extension.

REGION Americas
Copyright 2024 DutyFree Magazine. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Sitemap