April has been a big month for airport infrastructure funding. Two separate announcements of new funding awards were made. The first announcement, on April 5, was for $148 million. On April 25, the second announcement allocated another $76 million to support airport projects. In April alone, $224 million was made available for initiatives to construct terminals and expand older ones, upgrade runways, add gate capacity and improve airports.

When Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law several years ago, $15 billion was earmarked for airport infrastructure. Funding announcements such as these last two will continue through 2026.

A new airport near Las Vegas, Nevada, will be built on a 6,000-acre plot approximately 23 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The new airport will have multiple terminals with 153 gates and two runways. The estimated cost of the overall project, $12 billion, makes it the most expensive public works project in Nevada.

Another airport is needed to support the city’s projected domestic international and charter travel increase over the next decade. The new facility will also accommodate cargo flights. The Clark County Department of Aviation plans to acquire an additional 17,000 acres of land near the airport, increasing the size of the site to more than 23,000 acres. Currently, in the planning phase, the project will soon begin the environmental impact statement process. Contractor solicitations and awards are projected for 2027.

ohare internation airport terminal 300x131 Millions in additional funding announced for airport projects throughout America

Photo courtesy of O’Hare 21.

O’Hare International Airport’s current Terminal 2 in Chicago will be rebuilt in a massive $2.2 billion undertaking. At over 2.2 million square feet, the rebuilt terminal will be about twice the size of the current facility. The Chicago Department of Aviation will lead the project, which will be funded by the airlines operating at O’Hare International Airport.

The new terminal will streamline baggage operations and provide additional concessions and lounge space. It will include immigration, customs areas and service sections for international and domestic flights. Additional concourses under construction currently will allow the airport to avoid reducing the number of flights during construction. Demolition of Terminal 2 is expected to begin in 2026, and construction will begin soon after that.

The St. Pete-Clearwater Airport in Clearwater, Florida, will undergo a $110 million terminal expansion and renovation initiative. The project will include constructing four terminal gates, four additional jet bridges, additional concession areas and a centralized TSA checkpoint development. The design phase will commence this summer. Project delivery will be managed through a construction manager at risk engagement model. The plan is to award a construction contract when the design process is approximately 30% complete. Funding will be made available through airport funds and federal support.

In addition to its terminal expansion project, a parking garage project estimated to cost between $40 million and $45 million will be launched. The parking structure will add about 1,000 parking spaces. Officials have also expressed interest in integrating the new structure with a tourist shuttle. Construction of this project will begin in 2026.

Earlier this month, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved more than $28 million to upgrade the Metropolitan Airport in Stockton, California. The funds will address aging airport infrastructure, including the 60-year-old terminal, baggage claim areas and ramps. Approximately $8 million of the project’s funding is earmarked for terminal improvements, including adding a new section capable of accommodating 400 passengers. This facet of the project will also include remodeling the existing baggage claim, TSA security area and counters for ticketing. Additionally, the redesign and restoration of the airport’s west ramp, estimated to cost $7 million, will include construction of a hangar. Over $10 million will be allocated to constructing aircraft storage hangars, shading awnings and repurposing an existing commercial hangar.

This airport upgrade project is currently in the design phase, and solicitations are expected in January 2025. Construction is slated to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2026.

The City of McAllen, Texas, received $7.4 million from the federal government to support the launch of an extensive airport expansion project. With a total project cost of $125 million, the upgraded airport will be designed to accommodate the recent growth in passengers and service route options the airport is experiencing. The expansion project will include the addition of five gates to the terminal and two additional baggage claim carousels. The project will also add more security screening and ticketing counter spaces to accommodate new airlines beginning to service McAllen International Airport. Airport officials say operations are currently at total capacity.

Project leaders for the expansion project will select a design team in 2024, and construction is planned for late 2026 or early 2027.

With another two years of funding available for America’s airports, the opportunities for public-private collaboration will be abundant through 2026. Planning, engineering, construction, technology, land work, landscaping, power and equipment of all types will be in high demand.

Mary Scott Nabers

As President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Mary Scott Nabers has decades of experience working in the public-private sector. A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.