Amid the coronavirus pandemic, airports have experienced an enormous drop in the number of travelers due to safety concerns and stay-at-home orders. This decrease in travel has directly affected airports’ bottom lines, and therefore, impacted ongoing and upcoming construction of runways, terminals and concourses. These multibillion dollar projects have seen their budgets slashed, had their timelines moved or have been canceled altogether.
Nevertheless, work at some major airports has been fast tracked by officials who are using the downtime to accelerate work while fewer passengers are present.
Here, Construction Dive uses a traffic light system to indicate the state of construction projects at major U.S. airports:
Green indicates that construction has continued or accelerated.
Yellow indicates that construction on all or parts of the project has been postponed or that some aspects of the project have been downgraded.
Red indicates that all construction has halted.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Like many other airports, Austin saw a huge drop in passenger traffic that sapped the revenue stream for capital improvements. The airport expansion project, according to KVUE, is on hold, though officials don’t know the exact impact it will have on the overall timeline yet.
Charlotte International Airport
The airport has suspended phase two of concourse A expansion, a new joint operations center, a concession distribution and receiving center and the design for a new international concourse. Projects already underway, like the main terminal expansion, will not be impacted, according to FOX 46
Chattanooga, Tennessee, airport has taken advantage of the fewer travelers as well, speeding up work on parking garages and an aviation hangar, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Work on a $3.5 billion expansion was postponed, or at least scaled back, in April, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The reduction in work includes Terminal F, a new concourse at the airport.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport is spending $560 million more on the $1.5 billion program to add 39 new gates. The project has been underway since 2018. The project had an outbreak when 14 workers had tested positive for the virus. The outbreak was determined to take place on May 1 The airport was reportedly the only construction site with a confirmed outbreak in the city, as of May 22.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
In Atlanta, some projects, such as a hotel that has been planned for years, have been delayed, while others, like five new gates added to Concourse T, have sped up in the absence of travelers.
Jacksonville International Airport
A 95% decline in passenger traffic forced Jacksonville, Florida airport officials to delay plans to expand a concourse by at least three years, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record.
COVID-19 put a strain on LaGuardia’s $4 billion Terminal B project, where work halted in April at a job site in the western concourse after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New York Daily News. Nevertheless, the project was completed and opened earlier this month to much fanfare.
Meanwhile, work on a $3.5 billion Delta Air Lines terminal could be complete ahead of the original 2026 deadline, according to Forbes.
O’Hare International Airport
The $8.5 billion expansion of the Chicago airport hasn’t exactly been postponed, but the city depends on airlines for revenue to be poured into the project. With huge numbers of flight cancellations and far fewer travelers, it is likely some aspects of the expansion will need to be scaled back, or the timeline stretched, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Orlando International Airport
The Florida's airport authority has scaled back an expansion to 15 gates from 19, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Salt Lake City International Airport
An absence of passengers at the Salt Lake City International Airport will allow for the early demolition of terminals in the $4.1 billion replacement project, which could save the airport up to $300 million and move the timeline up, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
San Diego International Airport
Although The San Diego Tribune originally reported potential delays to the $3 billion terminal I project to the city’s airport, no postponements or alterations have been made to the project's timetable.
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is postponing by at least six months a $1 billion terminal renovation formerly slated to start in June, according to the Wall Street Journal. Other projects at the airport, such as construction of Harvey Milk Terminal 1, are continuing.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle is speeding up the alteration of the Washington airport’s footprint, a $340 million dollar project that includes plans for new dining spaces, office spaces and lounging areas, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
Tampa International Airport
With air travel dropping by 95%, the Tampa airport in Florida announced that it will delay or cancel up to $906 million in airport projects over the next five years, according to the Tampa Bay Times.