Regionalization took another step forward today as officials at Manchester Airport announced plans to seek $121.5 million over the next five years to build two terminal additions, construct a second parking garage and complete other capacity-enhancing airport projects.
The initial phase of expansion will add up to four new gates and more baggage space by 2002. The second expansion will create four more gates and be finished by 2005. Both additions will be on the terminal's north side.
"Manchester Airport is taking the steps necessary to become the premier airport serving northern New England," said Massport Executive Director and CEO Virginia Buckingham. "The improvements are a critical investment in our regional air transportation system."
Predictions call for more than five million passengers annually to use the airport by 2005, an increase of more than 65 percent. This year, more than three million will pass through the terminal.
As part of the plan, a second parking garage will be built similar in size to the current garage, which has 4,000 public parking spaces and 800 spaces for rental cars. Another $20 million would go for roadway and parking improvements, including $7.5 million to tie an airport road into the proposed state airport access road. Other projects include spending $5.25 million on acquiring property.
A terminal expansion completed in 1999 added three jet bridge gates, ticket counter space and a commuter terminal, amounting to about 78,000 square feet. Once all the work is completed in 2005, the airport is expected to be able to handle between 5 to 7 million people.