By Tom Lockie
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) recently announced a planned expansion of the Jacksonville International Airport (JIA) terminal and facilities valued at 300 million dollars.
The new concourse B will feature 6 additional gates, increasing the gate total to 26. The airport currently has 20 gates split between two concourses (A & C).
The project, slated to commence in October 2022, is currently projected to be finished in July 2025.
Planned to be completed in phases, the first phase will focus on installing new security screening equipment at all current TSA security checkpoints. The new security machines will process 250 passengers per hour. By comparison, the current machines process 135 passengers per hour.
JAA Chief Operating Officer, Tony Cugno, describes the new concourse design as having the same modern architecture as concourses A & C with a focus on natural light and a lot of glass.
The proposed expansion is expected to help alleviate issues arising from future passenger and traffic growth. JIA airport statistics (http://www.flyjax.com/content2015.aspx?id=18) for the month of April reflect a total of 558,694 passenger arrivals and departures, with a month-over-month increase expected thanks to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted.
Fifty-five percent of the total project cost will be funded by the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial airports are allowed to charge passengers up to $4.50 per flight segment. Airports use these fees to fund FAA-approved projects that enhance safety, security, or capacity; reduce noise; or increase air carrier competition.
With the recent addition of new carriers like Frontier and Breeze, as well as the addition of new routes both in and out of JIA by current carriers serving the airport, the expansion will be a welcome relief to the delays passengers currently experience at JIA.
Tom Lockie is the Transportation and Travel Editor for the Citizens Journal Florida. A veteran and recently retired airline Captain, Tom considers writing, aviation and travel among his passions . He is a published author, featured in the USA Today for his children’s book “Come Fly with Me“.