Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), the world’s sixth-busiest airport catering over 600 airplanes a day is being expanded in the next few years so that it can meet customer needs and accommodate current and future passenger growth. In 2010, airport travel at CLT increased 10 percent, the highest among all airports nationwide and it shows no sign of slowing down. Here are the airports plans to handle the explosive growth.
Known as the CLT 2015 development program, the airport construction will â€œmodify the airport’s entrance, parking and access to the terminal,â€ including the building of new parking decks, rental car facilities, concourse gates, and terminal expansions. According to charmeck.org, the construction will be implemented in phases, costing an estimated $525,799,901.
Perhaps the largest active project currently underway is the construction on the new hourly parking deck and rental car facilities, which began in November 2011 and is expected to be complete in November 2014. Replacing the two hourly parking decks that were located in front of the terminal, the new decks will contain seven levels and 7,000 parking spaces“ 4,000 public parking and 3,000 rental car spaces. The 36 month construction program is estimated to cost $120,000,00.
Other active projects include the building of a new airport entrance roadway which will improve connections from Wilkinson Blvd and Little Rock Road to the terminal a privately funded intermodal facility, checked baggage in-line system and a new food court.
Beginning in Aug. 2012 and continuing for an estimated 18 months, the entrance road construction includes the widening of Little Rock Road, the building of three new bridges, and the implementation of a new signage system designed to direct customers and provide real-time parking and advisory information. Due to the nature of construction, CLT has warned that minor traffic shifts may impact traffic. The entrance road construction has a completion date of February 2014 and the sign system will be operating by Dec. 2013.
The intermodal system, which is a facility that people enter via one mode of transport (train, bike, foot, car, etc.) and leave on another, is privately funded and constructed by Norfolk Southern Corporation and is estimated to bring $9 billion in economic impact through the next 20 years. Norfolk Southern decided to â€œstrategically relocateâ€ to CLT so they could build a more efficient and easily expandable 200-acre terminal between two runways and remove trucks from busy city streets. Construction is estimate to continue through late 2014.
The design for the checked baggage in-line system was completed in April 2012 and construction began in Jan. 2013 and ending in August 2015. The project received a TSA grant covering $45,431,845 of the $50,957,401 total project cost. The system will include two miles of new, high-speed conveyors and will feature new technology and security processes which are expected to improve baggage handling service and a faster screening process of checked luggage. Design is currently underway for the expansion of the terminal curbside roadway. A total of 16 lanes will open in 2015 and aim to ease congestion for those picking up and dropping off passengers.
A two-story 32,000-square-foot terminal expansion also began construction in June 2013 and will include new escalators, elevators, and a new food court. It’s expected to be complete in April 2015.
CLT’s construction projects are moving forward steadily amongst the recent controversy surrounding the airport in which a judge issued a restraining order preventing the airport takeover by a newly created regional transportation authority. Authorities have struggled to identify the best solution to airport security since the 2010 death of the high school student who slipped past security and into an airplane wheel well.