FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Expansive Designs and Overhauls Take Airports to the Next Level

by Mary Melnick

May 26, 2023

PHOTO: © SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF AIRPORTS

April/May 2023

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the availability of $1 billion for airport expansion projects in 2023, awarding grants to some U.S. airports to make improvements to terminals.

Some of the upcoming expansion projects will be large. Chicago O’Hare International Airport announced a $7.1 billion expansion project. The plan involves demolishing the oldest passenger facility and constructing a completely new terminal, which will become the focal point of airport operations and feature a large tunnel, making it easier for travelers to get to the baggage area as well as other parts of the airport.

Sacramento International Airport in California expects to begin a large expansion project with a cumulative cost of $1.3 billion. The SMFoward project will develop in six phases, each helping improve airport facilities and provide a wider variety of services for passengers.

Over the next five years the airport will make a transformative journey, starting with the construction of a pedestrian walkway. The state-of-the-art walkway will connect Terminal B to Concourse B, allowing passengers the flexibility to choose between a leisurely walk to their gate and the airport’s train system.

Additional projects include expansion to both Terminal A and Concourse B, adding gates and new amenities; a parking garage for Terminal B; and a consolidated ground transportation center to centralize taxi, ride share and off-site shuttles into a single area walkable from both terminals. Lastly, the project will end with the completion of a new consolidated rental car facility to allow passengers easy access to the airport’s rental car providers.

In the early stages of a major overhaul, Des Moines International Airport in Iowa plans to carry out its expansion in phases. The first phase will include an addition of 245,000 square feet of terminal space; delivery of a 13,000-square-foot central energy plant; construction of a 7,000-square-foot office building; and a new skyway bridge to connect all facilities. One of the airport’s main concourses will also be extended to accommodate up to 11 new gates.

Outside of the United States, Kuwait International Airport prepares to establish itself as a new hub in the Gulf area, seeking to attract passengers with a new terminal building featuring cutting-edge technology. The three-winged building will feature large solar panels covering the canopy to help achieve LEED Gold status. Set for completion later this year, Terminal 2 will be the first part of a significant airport overhaul.

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