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Charlotte Douglas International Airport Receives $115 Million for Improvements

Provided by Charlotte Business Journal and Miami Herald

The Charlotte City Council approved $83M worth of contracts to fund a fourth parallel runway at Charlotte Douglas Airport. According to Haley Gentry, CLT’s aviation director the runway companion end-around taxiways will help planes avoid logjams on the ground will cost $1 billion. According to airport estimates, the additional runway and taxiways will save airlines $5.5 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars between the time it opens — 2027 — and 2054. An airport spokesman said the new runway will be able to accommodate flights to Asia, though any discussion of adding service there will be at least several years away.

Charlotte Douglas consistently ranks among the nation’s 10 busiest U.S. airports and was sixth in passengers in the world in 2021, according to Airports Council International. Though shifts caused by the pandemic boosted Charlotte’s ranking, it is likely to remain among the 10 busiest domestic airports; it’s home to American Airlines Group Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAL) second-largest hub.
CLT was also awarded $32 million from the federal government for its “Concourse E Improvement Project”. The funding is coming from the Federal Aviation Administration by way of the Biden administration’s bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “CLT is critical to the connectivity of the Southeast United States to the global economy, making Charlotte a center for business,” Jackson said in a statement. “This grant will ensure CLT is able to continue to be one of the busiest airports in the world and sustain the growth of our thriving region.” The terminal lobby expansion began in 2019 as a phase of the $3.1 billion Destination CLT investment. According to airport officials, the new and improved terminal will be opened in 2025. The gain doesn’t come without compromise, though. Security checkpoint B will close March 17 as a result of the project and will stay closed throughout the summer travel season. Although Douglas International will gain 175,000 square feet of terminal and lobby space once completed, the number of security checkpoints will go from five to three. Airport officials said that those checkpoints will have the same number of security lanes, however, resulting in greater efficiency.