- Hawaii Gov. David Ige recently announced plans to build a new $1.1 billion, 800,000-square-foot concourse at Honolulu International Airport, according to Hawaii News Now.
- The new facility would replace the existing 50-year-old Diamond Head Concourse and keep pace with increased demand. The project, which will now undergo the required environmental reviews, includes 12 to 14 wide-body gates, an additional international arrival point with customs and border protection, a modernized security checkpoint and possibly a new commuter terminal.
- State officials expect the project to take approximately 10 years to complete, and Ige said that airline and airport concession revenues would foot the bill. The governor also floated the idea of an airport corporation taking over facility management from the state, an idea that was scuttled by Hawaii lawmakers last year.
With the proposed concourse replacement, Hawaii joins airports around the country in trying to update their facilities to accommodate more passengers and provide them with modern amenities. And it's no coincidence that there seems to be a rush of these mega-terminal and other airport upgrade programs.
In response to an increased public appetite for air travel in the 1960s and 1970s, many airports built the terminals that now must be replaced to adequately serve the larger amount of traffic. In fact, the Airports Council International-North America put a number to it. The council reported last year that it would take $100 billion during the next five years to bring the country's airports up to snuff.
While terminal replacements are the obvious starting point, transportation projects also come into play given the number of people that larger airports need to move from place to place. Just this month, Fluor Corporation announced that its LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) joint venture had been chosen to design-build, finance, operate and maintain the planned Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) automated people mover (APM). The 2.25-mile project, which has been valued as high as $2.7 billion, will include six stations with connections to parking, rental cars, terminals and the Los Angeles Metro.
Tampa International Airport's $2.3 billion expansion also includes a new people mover system as part of the project's $971 million first phase, as well as retail, restaurants and a 2.6-million-square-foot rental car center.