Infrastructure is on everyone's mind, following the Senate's vote to advance a massive spending bill, the biggest outlay of federal money for the sector in almost 100 years.
Coinciding with that, travel is increasing and more people are flocking to airports than they have in a while, despite concerns about the delta variant of the coronavirus. With that in mind, here's a look at some airports that are gearing up for expansion over the coming years in order from highest price tag to lowest:
Los Angeles International Airport
Renovations to Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 6 began on July 19, according to a press release, and the project will feature a complete overhaul of gate areas and lounges along with the boarding bridges. The improvements will also feature a way to connect Terminals 5 and 6 in the future to the airport's planned people mover system.
The project will cost about $230 million, a small piece of the $14.5 billion being put into a capital improvement project at the airport. Last month, crews finished laying more than 233,000 cubic yards of concrete at a car rental facility east of the airport, which would make it the largest consolidated car rental facility in the world with 6.4 million square feet, according to the LA Business Journal.
Also part of the overall improvement project are overhauls of flight areas, such as for fuel lines and redoing apron paving. Customers can also expect improvements with Customs and Border Protection areas and Transportation Security Administration screening checkpoints.
Work is expected to continue into 2023.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
The New York Port Authority and JFK Millennium Partners announced a $3.9 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot new terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The full $3.9 billion expense will be financed by JFK Millennium Partners.
The plan calls for the construction of a new terminal 6, which will replace Terminals 6 and 7 and be built at those locations, according to a press release from New York State. Terminal 6 was torn down in 2011, and Terminal 7 will also be torn down once British Airways relocates to Terminal 8. It will connect to Terminal 5 and have 10 new gates and 100,000 square feet of dining and recreation spaces. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and finish by 2025.
Beginning the process, the Port Authority is being asked to authorize a $130 million transfer to start preparations for building "enabling infrastructure" for the construction, such as utility improvements and some airside improvements.
San Diego International Airport
San Diego International Airport is adding a $2.2 billion terminal. The current terminal, built in the 1960s, will be replaced by a 1.2 million-square-foot terminal with 30 gates, according to a press release. Construction will begin in late 2021, helmed by a joint venture of Turner Construction and Flatiron, and will occur in two stages, the first being open by 2025 and the second by 2027.
When construction is complete across the facility, the airport will have 62 gates, additional security checkpoints, more seating and more restaurants and shops. The project will also look to make the airport more sustainable, such as adjusting routes to create less taxi time for planes and an underground fuel delivery system to reduce the need for trucks.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport leaders are eyeing a $139 million plan to add nine gates to Terminals A and C, a plan that was pushed back at the start of the pandemic, according to the Dallas Morning News. This plan would also include overall renovations to Terminal C, which hasn't been updated since the 1970s, according to the newspaper. If approved, the terminals would be completed by 2026.
Along with the gates, there are plans to add two piers, which would give people more room to embark and disembark, an additional part of the plan that would add up to about $1.5 billion.
Airport officials also continue to gauge the timeline of an upcoming project revolving around Terminal F, which will cost roughly $3 billion and was put on hold as a result of the pandemic.
Denver International Airport
The Denver airport is in the middle of two simultaneous construction projects, both of which are looking to boost the airport capacity. The Great Hall project, a planned expansion of the existing airport terminal, will add a new security checkpoint. Phase 2 of the project started on July 7, and work will occur alongside Phase 1, which will create new ticketing areas for United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The checkpoint will be located in the northwest corner of the airport's Jeppesen Terminal.
Officials said in the press release that with the completion of the new security checkpoint, a previously unused space will become available for more meet-and-greet services and concession areas.
Airport leaders have said that Phase 1 will be completed by the end of 2021, while Phase 2 work will be completed in mid-2024. The two phases together have a combined budget of $770 million. The contractor for both phases is Hensel Phelps. Phase 1 is currently $25 million under budget.
The gate expansion project, which is looking to improve the airport's gate capacity, was originally worth $1.5 billion and is looking to add 39 concourse gates to the airport. The gate project is expected to mostly be completed by the end of 2021 with the gates being operational in 2022. A second part of the gate expansion project, which features about $560 million in additional funding, represents concourse renewal, which is expected to be finished in 2024.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
The Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, is currently in the middle of a $608 million expansion to its terminal lobby, according to an airport press release.
The goal of these renovations is to create more space in the arrivals/baggage area and departures/ticketing area. The airport broke ground on the project in 2019, and is part of a five-year plan in a much larger capital project called "Destination CLT" that is expected to cost between $2.5 to $3.1 billion to help passenger growth through 2035.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
The planned expansion of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, is a part of the airport's 2040 Master Plan, which is designed to accommodate growth in passengers up to 2040. The city is soliciting bids this summer for the Airport Expansion & Development Program portion of the plan, which a spokesperson for the airport said is estimated to cost $325 million over the next three years.
According to the project website, it will feature optimization of the Barbara Jordan Terminal, creating a central utility plant and getting rid of existing structures to make way for it, and making a new midfield concourse with more than 10 new gates and two new taxiways. The project will be funded by cash reserves, current and future revenue, future bond proceeds and Federal Aviation Administration grants.
Glacier Park International Airport
Glacier Park International Airport, located in Kalispell, Montana, has broken ground on an expansion project that was stalled in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $100 million project was greenlighted once again in January. Tourism is increasing in the region, as Glacier National Park, which is within reach of the airport, has seen a 40% growth in visitation since 2012, according to the official park website.
A team made up of Kalispell-based Swank Enterprises, which renovated the airport 20 years ago, and Q&D Enterprises, based in Sparks, Nevada, were selected as a joint venture in February 2020, according to a press release.
The project will triple the size of the facility and offer improvements in a variety of areas. According to local news channel 8KPAX, there will be increases to terminal gates, jet bridges, an additional escalator, restaurants and more. Airport director Rob Ratkowski told 8KPAX that the expansion will take place in two phases over the next three years.
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport
Officials at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, located in Mascoutah, Illinois, are in the process of expanding the terminal, which is expected to be finished ahead of schedule.
The project, originally slated for completion in 2023, is now expected to be finished in December 2022 as a result of an additional $9.7 million federal grant, according to a press release from the airport. This funding is in addition to the $30 million originally awarded to the project, which is currently in its second phase, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. Leading the work is Holland Construction Services based in Swansea, Illinois.
When the project is finished, it will be 2.3 acres, and will feature a new security screening area, two new boarding bridges and other amenities for travelers, such as areas for service animals and services that will help accommodate disabled patrons.
Melbourne-Orlando International Airport
An expansion for Melbourne-Orlando International Airport, located in Melbourne, Florida, is underway. The $61 million plan features more than 86,000 square feet added to the terminal while also adding a new group of international flights through Hanover, Germany-based airline and tourism company TUI.
The expansion will focus on building new jet bridges, a new departure area, a four-lane security checkpoint, an inspection station for U.S. Customs, a new terminal apron and a new welcome center for international travelers, according to WESH2.
Greg Donovan, the airport's executive director, told WESH2 that funding for the project comes from airport revenue, grant support from the government and financing, with no money coming from taxes.
Clarification: This story was updated to make clear the total cost of Denver International Airport's construction.