A new airport terminal is in the works for the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport. Construction expected to begin by the end of the year.
It’s a much-anticipated project in the City of Brownsville. From sketches to official designs, the airport is getting a new terminal. We met with Airport Director Bryant Walker who says construction is about to begin.
“We actually completed the execution of the contract for construction on October 31st. Basically we should be into construction in a few weeks.”
The current terminal will be demolished and the new one expected in the parking lot right in front of the existing one. Despite the construction, the airport plans to operate without interruption. Flights will continue to and from Brownsville.
Walker says, “A lot of the complexity is going to be in the traffic management. Moving the traffic off Billy Mitchel so we can build a terminal on what used to be Billy Mitchel.
Right now the airport is too small for growth. Agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection or the Transportation Security Administration have new regulations and require more space. Walker says it’s not just about compliance with these agencies. The airport can’t expand it’s operations much more.
“Once we decide that the terminal is outdated and is beyond anything we can do to remodel to bring it up to standards, once we start building a new project like this, like a new terminal, then we’re required to come into compliance with all the regulations.” says Walker.
The total cost of the project is estimated at about $44 million. Funding comes from Brownsville organizations and the federal government.
Walker adds, “The airport is the front door to the city. The airport is an economic engine for the community and to the region. By building a new airport you’re welcoming new business into the area, you’re showing them that the city is here to do business.”
The current passenger terminal was built in 1971. The new terminal is expecting completion in late 2020.