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Airport Expansion and What it Means to the Construction Industry

No one sees and feels the congestion around air travel like those of us who travel consistently. The good news is that if we take the time to look around, we can see varying degrees of expansion in our airports underway to handle the rise in demand for air transportation.

The Airport Council International’s (ACI-NA) total estimate of airport capital development needs for 2015 through 2019, adjusted for inflation, is $75.7 Billion, or $15.1 Billion annualized.

Fifty-six percent is intended to accommodate growth in passenger and cargo activity. Thirty-eight percent is supposed to be used to keep airports up to standards for the aircraft that use them, rehabilitate existing infrastructure, and maintain a state of good repair. (Source: ACI-NA)

ACI-NA attributes the increase in airport capital needs to several factors, including the recovering U.S. economy and increasing traffic demand, airline consolidation and concentration on hub operations, and the need to upgrade aging infrastructure.

The air transportation system is expected to handle more than one billion passengers by 2017, and that will increase by factors of two or three by 2025, according to the FAA. Without continued expansion and maintenance of the airport system, passengers will struggle with increasing congestion and gridlock.

Additional Factors Impacting Airport Construction

Airport construction will also be impacted by other industry trends, such as larger aircraft, airport privatization and the conversion of military airports for civilian use. For example, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 are two aircraft that require additional space because of their fuselage length, wingspan and weight.

We see these higher levels of activity increase revenues for construction market activity through more airport operations, passenger facility charges and demand for flights. An increase in the number of airplanes and flights also requires more runway maintenance. Investment in airport construction is financed by federal, state and local grants, bond proceeds, passenger facility charges, airport- generated revenues and tenant and third-party financing. Many projects are financed through airport revenue bonds.

Domestic enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 669.0 Million in 2014 to 696.4 Million (4.1%) in 2015. Domestic mainline carrier enplanements increased 5.6 percent while domestic regional carrier enplanements decreased 0.7 percent. (Source: faa.gov)

International enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 88.0 Million in 2014 to 89.4 Million (1.6%) in 2015. Mainline carrier international enplanements were up 2.4 percent, while regional carrier international enplanements declined 22.2 percent, according to the FAA.

Supplying Products and Materials for the Airport Expansion

The Building Solutions team is proud to play an important role in this essential expansion. We are busy supplying many of the solutions to meet the complex and highly technical demands of these airport projects around the U.S.

Through early involvement, our team is assisting in design, value management, subcontractor support and logistical management and delivery of the many products required to make these projects a reality.

From interior and exterior glazing and wall packages, to roofing, waterproofing, masonry, aggregates, ready mix concrete, paving and precast solutions, Building Solutions is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. Explore our projects and see what great things we can do working together.



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