Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FAA approves use of $62 million toward Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport renovations

Published: Sunday, November 07, 2010, 8:59 PM ??? Updated: Sunday, November 07, 2010, 9:05 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of $62 million to be put toward renovations at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. No additional fees will be added to passenger tickets, said Toni Herrera-Bast, Birmingham Airport Authority spokeswoman.

Although the FAA's decision allows for allocating the funds, they will be collected over time, Herrera-Bast said. She said the funds are collected through current passenger facility charges, set at $4.50 per ticket. The renovation, called the "Terminal Modernization Project," will include an expanded baggage claim area, more concessions inside the security checkpoint and a sit-down restaurant.

The majority of airlines operating out of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth were supportive of the funds' allocation, according to the airport.

"Our airline partners' support and cooperation has been valuable throughout this process," Al Denson, president and chief executive officer of the Birmingham Airport Authority, said in a statement. "They recognize our intention to remain a viable and competitive airport in our market."

Construction on the approximate $200 million renovation project is expected to begin early next year, Herrera-Bast said.

The Department of Homeland Security awarded a $14.3 million grant to the BAA earlier this year, which also will be used for the renovation.

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