- The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has revealed the details of two projects at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA, that are part of a $1 billion capital improvement plan there, according to the Washington Business Journal.
- A new security checkpoint at the airport's existing retail area will cost more than $245 million, and the price tag for a new concourse is expected to be a little more than $408 million. AIR Alliance, including AECOM and PGAL, was brought on to design the projects in 2015.
- The bond-financed projects should be complete between 2020 and 2021, with a new parking garage, landside and airside infrastructure improvements, and baggage handling renovations to follow at some point in the future.
Airport improvements are never cheap, but they're needed to keep pace with the industry's ever-changing security and technological requirements. A report from the Airports Council International—North America released earlier this month found that it would take approximately $100 billion to execute the necessary infrastructure upgrades at the nation's airports, a 32% increase from the organization's 2015 projections.
Unfortunately, airports don’t take in nearly enough to cover the tab for all those improvements, and not many projects qualify for the $3.35 billion in annual Airport Improvement Program grants. In President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal, he has outlined a significant restructuring of the Federal Aviation Administration, although it is unclear if that will affect AIP grants.
Several airports across the U.S. are undergoing or gearing up for massive renovation, due largely to the fact that passenger traffic has increased to the point that current facilities can no longer meet their needs. The San Francisco airport is getting a $2.4 billion facelift with its eight-year Terminal 1 replacement and renovation. Salt Lake City also has a $2.6 billion airport expansion in progress. And in New York, LaGuardia Airport is replacing its outdated terminal through a public-private partnership with Skanska-led LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
However, all of these projects pale in comparison to Atlanta's 20-year, $6 billion renovation and expansion of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world with 101.5 million passengers annually. That project includes a new $393 million terminal, a $943 million runway, canopies over traffic lanes and sidewalks, a complete interior renovation and a 400-room hotel.