New Terminal & Midfield Development Program

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New airport terminals come around once every few generations. This is our time.

It was 1958 when Columbus last opened a new passenger terminal. After nearly 60 years of care and expansion, that facility continues to serve over 7.3 million passengers annually. However, the terminal is beginning to approach the end of its usefulness.

We can always slow down development but it’s much harder to speed it up. New terminals and related development can take over a decade to design, construct and open so planning is underway for a new airport terminal to open when it’s needed.

So much more than a new terminal

The most visible aspect of the development will be the new terminal, which will be served by a new parking garage and a rental car facility. There will also be a utility plant and a shipping and receiving center, in addition to space for new hotels or restaurants. Some of the less visible work will be related to utilities and relocating FAA equipment, among other things.

This development will occur in the center of airport property, west of the current terminal near the air traffic
control tower. This approach will allow us to maximize airport operations within the existing footprint of airport property. All of these projects are collectively referred to as the midfi eld development program.

Frequently Asked Questions

No local tax money

John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), run by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, is financially
self-sufficient. No local or state tax dollars are used to run the airport and none will be used to fund any part of the midfield development program, which will cost more than $1 billion.

We will tap into a variety of funding sources including cash reserves, passenger facility charges (PFCs), FAA funds and issuing bonds. We’ll use rental car user fees to pay for a new rental car facility.

So, what will you build first?

Construction begins in 2018 on a new rental car facility, which is scheduled to open in 2020. Built near the site of the new terminal, this facility will allow travelers to drop off and pick up rental cars from a centralized location. When the new terminal opens, a sky bridge will connect the two facilities. Until that time rental car
customers will be bussed to and from the current terminal. Rental car activity currently takes place on levels one and two of the parking garage. When rental car operations move to the new facility we’ll use these levels for public parking, thereby alleviating the current capacity issue in the garage.

Why did you invest $80 million in modernizing the current terminal if you’re going to build a new terminal?

At least 80 million passengers will use the current facility before we transition to the new terminal. We not only
want those customers to have an enjoyable experience in a renovated facility but we also need to ensure that we meet all the current safety and security needs of our customers. Consider it this way. Why do you put oil in your car and change the tires if you know you’re eventually going to buy a new one? You do it so that you can get the maximum usage out of your current car. Because the updates extend the life of your current car, you have more time to save more money for a new car.

How will you know it’s time for a new terminal?

The goal is to open the new terminal when demand warrants it. 

Over the last two years, passenger traffic has increased 15 percent at John Glenn International, with more than 7.3 million passengers traveling through the airport in 2016.

A study is underway to determine the optimum capacity of the current terminal. To be completed in late 2017, the study will examine checkpoints, holdrooms, curb fronts, baggage processing capabilities and much more. This information, plotted against forecasted future passenger growth, will help us to identify the time frame for opening a new terminal, which is expected to take about two years to design and three years to construct.

What will happen to the current terminal once the new terminal is built?

Once the new terminal is built, we will transition all operations to the new facility. At that point the current terminal will be demolished to make room for future development.

What will the new terminal look like?

A rendering has been created to represent the concept of the new terminal and supporting structures such as a rental car facility and parking garage. This rendering demonstrates the location and function of the facilities, but the actual look of the terminal will be determined later through a detailed design process.

What kind of consideration will be given to the energy efficiency of the new facilities?

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority has a long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility and will incorporate industry best practices such as energy conservation and sustainability into the development.

My company would add great value to the new terminal and midfield development program. How can we be considered for work?

CRAA is committed to a diverse mix of companies being involved in the midfield program. Contact Kim Burtis in our Office of Contracts and Procurement at 614-239-5010 to schedule a marketing visit with the Planning and Engineering Office. This is a great way to meet the team and introduce yourself and your company’s services.