Work begins on Virginia airport’s $920M overhaul

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Norfolk International Airport broke ground on two improvement projects Monday: a three-gate expansion to the existing Concourse A and a new U.S. Customs Inspections screening facility for international flights, Norfolk Airport Authority spokesperson Chris Jones told Construction Dive via email. 

Richmond, Virginia-based W.M. Jordan Co. is building the new gates and customs facility, which together are projected to cost about $60 million, according to Jones. The projects are part of the larger $920 million transformation detailed in the Norfolk Airport Authority’s updated master plan

The overall, multiyear renovation of the 50-year-old facility consists of several “projects that will extend the useful life and value of the airport to meet the air transportation needs of the region over the next 20 years,” according to the authority. The goal is to modernize the terminals, improve the traveler experience and meet the needs of the busy and growing airport

There is one other ongoing improvement project at the airport: phase 2 of the Runway 05/23, which will require nighttime runway closures until November, when the project is expected to be complete. Antigo, Wisconsin-based Antigo Construction is the contractor, Jones said. 

The authority hopes to break ground on the moving walkway project later this year, but supply chain issues have slowed progress, according to Jones. Norfolk, Virginia-headquartered Tazewell Contracting will build that project. A private developer also aims to break ground later this year on an onsite Courtyard by Marriott hotel, he said.

The most significant project is a new departures building where travelers can check their bags and get tickets, but the timeline for most of the projects is still in flux, according to Jones.  

“We’re still working internally to determine the sequencing of the other projects, both from a cost perspective as well as operational impact,” said Jones. “The largest component of the work will be a new arrivals hall that will greatly improve the traveler experience when flying out with new check-in areas and a better curbside flow.” 

Per the authority, other improvements coming in the next several years are:

  • A new fuel farm to replace the existing 50-plus-year-old facility.
  • A rental car facility for Concourse A.
  • A new checked baggage inspection system. 
  • An expanded baggage makeup area.
  • Expanded shipping and receiving areas.
  • A new Norfolk Airport Authority administration building.

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