The Port of Portland (OR) is undertaking a $1.3 billion, five-year overhaul of the aging terminal at Portland International Airport, according to The Oregonian. The airport's airlines must approve the project as they will be financing the overhaul.
The project will include security updates; a $215 million concourse expansion, which will add gates; a $265 million parking garage addition; and private development of a gas station-convenience store and retail coffee outlet. Work on the terminal is set to begin in 2020, but parking garage construction is scheduled to start in 2018.
Port officials will also upgrade the electrical and plumbing systems; replace the roof and make seismic upgrades. When complete, the airport will be able to accommodate 35 million travelers annually, almost double the passenger traffic it saw last year.
There has been a marked increase in airport terminal replacements and renovations lately as aviation authorities try to accommodate growth in the number of passengers, as well as to modernize facilities that were built decades ago, like Portland's current terminal, which was built in 1956.
However, these types of projects don't typically qualify for the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program grants, which fund airport infrastructure needs based on passenger volume. The FAA has released hundreds of millions of dollars in financing in the last two months for runway construction and repair, lighting, marking and other basic operational requirements.
Those who wish to launch large terminal projects, like the $1 billion undertaking at Reagan National Airport, in Arlington, VA, usually must pay for it themselves. As in Portland, the airlines are financing the Reagan project.
Major construction is expected to start at Reagan this month. Work will include the demolition of two hangars and an office building, $245 million of new security checkpoints, the relocation of retail and restaurants past security and a new $360 million commuter concourse. The airport could also build a new parking garage, add an upgraded baggage handling system and perform additional infrastructure improvements, but those plans are tentative.
Reagan sees roughly 23 million passengers each year.