- The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has given Turner Construction authorization to begin construction on a three-level, 230,000-square-foot, $374 million concourse, which is part of a larger $1 billion terminal redevelopment plan at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, according to a company press release.
- The new 14-gate concourse will replace onsite bus service to regional carriers with passenger bridges, keeping travelers out of the elements and giving them easier access to flight information and new amenities like retail, food, an airport club and device-charging outlets. Turner will also build a two-level connector building that will feature public space, moving walkways and electric vehicle charging stations.
- Turner has already demolished two existing hangars and authority offices on the site where the concourse will be built. Completion is scheduled for 2021.
The airport authority has dubbed its full terminal plan "Project Journey." In addition to constructing a new concourse, the airport will also oversee the relocation of the airport's security checkpoints and their connection to National Hall, so that passengers can be screened prior to entering the shopping and dining area. When it is complete in 2021, the project is expected to relieve the existing congestion and traffic backups around security checkpoints by housing screening lanes inside two new 50,000-square-foot structures and increasing the number of lanes to 28.
Project Journey does not include increasing aircraft capacity, although the authority does aim to make the space more comfortable for the 24 million passengers that move through the airport each year. Construction on the security checkpoints is supposed to start this summer or fall.
According to the authority, Reagan National was designed to accommodate only 15 million travelers annually. This is the same issue many other airports around the country are facing – keeping an ever-growing number of passengers comfortable in outdated and cramped facilities that were designed in the 1960s and 1970s.
In fact, a comment from former Vice President Joe Biden that compared New York City's LaGuardia Airport to a third-world country is said to have spurred New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for the $4 billion terminal replacement project underway there now. The new 1.3 million-square-foot terminal, aside from giving travelers an improved experience, will be able to meet the anticipated increase in passenger volume for years to come.