- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport could receive a $2 billion, 20-year overhaul, including a larger terminal, new concourses and a redesigned traffic flow.
- The city’s preferred plan would involve the renovation of Concourse A, rebuilding of Concourses B and C and demolition of Concourse D — which has been empty since 2014 — in favor of two new concourses, ideastream reported.
- The overall plan, which was laid out before the Cleveland City Council in a virtual presentation by airport officials, would recommend rebuilding roughly 71% of the airport.
Building a brand new Concourse D and a small Concourse E would make for better land use and create shorter walking times for travelers, officials said during the presentation. The proposal also recommends attaching the airport to Interstate 71 via an elevated road, in an attempt to alleviate traffic.
The project would be paid for using airport revenue as well as government grants or Congressional earmarks, airport officials said. Should Ohio lawmakers ask for funding to help with the project, they'd join requests from 328 representatives, totaling $5.9 billion. Many of the largest earmark requests made so far were for updating airports and the surrounding infrastructure.
One Cleveland City Council member compared the project to upgrading an old car.
"We’re sort of driving a used Camry at this point, and this thing can go forever, but how many times are we going to spend $800 fixing the car?" Councilman Charles Slife said, according to ideastream. "At a certain point, maybe it’s a good idea to get that new car and have the extended warranty."
Meanwhile, other airports across the country are also considering expansions and renovations. Oakland International Airport officials are looking into a potential new terminal and modernization of existing terminals, dramatically increasing the number of gates at the airport, the East Bay Times reported. The cost is still unknown, but the airport is preparing an environmental impact report and setting up community meetings to discuss the project.
Pensacola, Florida, officials have begun looking into expanding the terminal at the airport there, after daily travel numbers finally reached pre-pandemic levels, Pensacola News Journal reported. Currently, the airport is on track to surpass its 2019 numbers, in which it set personal records for traffic.