Airport plan moving forward

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The CBJ Committee of the Whole received the latest details on the revised North Terminal expansion project at Juneau International Airport.

    The $21.6 million project includes a two story facility with 27,000 square feet in new construction.  It also includes demolition of all pre-1984 portions of the existing terminal.  It also replaces the 1984 escalator, elevator and stairs.  The space will house regional passenger services, airport administration, US Customs, the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower support operations, and about 9,400 square feet in renovated areas.   Its important to note the project does not include space in the terminal for regional air cargo operations and a special regional tourist operation facility.  The airport board approved the concept earlier this month.

    There will be four areas for regional carriers in the expanded terminal.  "We still maintain all the passenger services in the main terminal."

    Airport Manager Patty Wahto said passenger numbers continue to grow at Juneau International Airport.  She explained the airport master plan was completed in 2005.  It broke up the airport into two phases.  The 1984 section was completed in 2012 at a cost of $23 million.  The estimate of the north terminal expansion in 2012 was $38 million.  The CBJ did not have the revenue. A major issue was most of the terminal was not eligible for federal aviation administration grant dollars.

    "We don't have the money ($38 million).  We looked at multiple sub phases.  We knew anytime you divide things up it raises costs.  It also complicates federal funding," she added.

    Lease lots adjacent to the JNU terminal will be made available for private development of these facilities.  The financial plan to pay for these improvements include $8.9 million from airport improvement program entitlement grants, $5.8 million from passenger facility charges, and $6.9 million in general obligation bonds from the CBJ approved in 2012.  The passenger facility charges have not yet been collected.  The plan is to take the funds from these charges over a five year period.

    The schedule for the project includes schematic design by the end of the year, design development by March, 2019, complete bid documents by early summer, and demolition and relocation in the fall of next year.

    The federal dollars come from entitlement funds.  This means all federal dollars for three years for Juneau's airport are tied up in one project.

    Mayor Ken Koelsch had questions about the location of the gift shop on the first floor and whether people using the airport in the Alaska Room could continue to watch planes land.  The current design will eliminate those viewing opportunities.


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