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18 December 2015

HOK’s Robert Chicas and Leesa Coller Discuss US Airport Infrastructure


HOK’s Robert Chicas and Leesa Coller discuss ongoing projects at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport and Tampa International Airport in a Passenger Terminal World article on airport investment in the US.

HOK is part of the design joint venture for LaGuardia Gateway Partners, selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as preferred bidder for LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B. The team will work with the agency in an innovative public-private partnership to construct the first phase of redevelopment of LaGuardia.

“The test case for P3 is at New York’s LaGuardia, described by the Los Angeles Times as ‘America’s worst airport.’ Its crumbling infrastructure could not cope with the increase in passengers predicted, from 25.7 million in 2014, to 35 million by 2030. Some of LaGuardia’s terminals have been upgraded by the airlines, but the airport’s biggest project is the US$3.6 billion Central Terminal Building (CTB), which was open for P3 bids and won by LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP).

“‘This is the largest airport P3 project in North America and lots of people will be looking at it to see if P3 is an appropriate delivery system,’ says Robert Chicas, director of Aviation + Transportation at HOK, a member of LGP. ‘It’s an interesting structure where the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), which has a challenge maintaining its six airports, has granted concessions to the consortium to design, build, finance, operate and manage the terminal for 30 years. It’s a win-win situation for PANYNJ. They get a terribly needed piece of infrastructure built, the city of New York benefits and the private sector benefits.’”

Salt Lake City Interior

“Salt Lake City, Utah is a good example of a US airport that has outgrown its infrastructure. Built in 1961 for 10 million passengers, it now serves 22 million a year. ‘There are 21 separate buildings knitted together to create the airport. The infrastructure has grown incrementally and doesn’t work as it should,’ says HOK’s Chicas.

“Fortunately, Salt Lake is one US airport that can afford to spend US$1.8 billion on a new three-story terminal and concourse. ’Salt Lake is the only debt-free airport in the USA so there was a robust bankroll and the rest will be funded from airline usage. It won’t be a burden on taxpayers,’ says Chicas.

Read more about Salt Lake City International Airport’s $1.8 billion terminal redevelopment program in this Passenger Terminal World article.

“By bringing the natural beauty of Utah into the airport and incorporating sustainable strategies that create a healthy environment, HOK’s design for the new terminal provides an immediate sense of place that celebrates our region,” says Maureen Riley, airport executive director, Salt Lake City Department of Airports.

The terminal expansion and modernization for Tampa International Airport is part of an initial expansion phase that will eventually double the capacity of the airport.

“HOK is also working on the three-stage development of Tampa International, which plans to spend US$4.2 billion in the next couple of decades. Tampa is another US airport with creaking 40-year-old infrastructure. The airport has 21 airlines processing 18.5 million passengers in 2015, a 14 percent increase since 2010. The first US$943 million phase calls for a 2,300,000-sq.-ft. consolidated rental car facility south of the main terminal. It will be connected to the airport by a 1.3-mile automated people mover. ‘Growth has made the curbside congested,’ says Leesa Coller, HOK’s design principal for Tampa. ‘By moving car rental facilities out of the main airport, we will reduce traffic, extend the life of roads and create more space in the main terminal.’

Passenger Terminal World