The $60 million terminal improvement project at Syracuse’s Hancock airport is coming along, but officials today took steps to speed things up to meet a late October completion date. The Airport Authority Board approved spending additional money to negotiate with contractors and implement an accelerated schedule. Executive Director Christina Callahan says they want to return to normal operations as soon as possible because the construction is clearly disruptive.
“We’ve really tried to design it in a way with signage that is clear and easy to understand. But it’s still a change. We recognize anytime you disrupt the flow in the terminal, it’s not the ideal situation, which is why we’re implementing this accelerated schedule so we can finish the project by October 31st.”
Callahan says the past nine months of construction doesn’t appear to have impacted passenger traffic. She says it was up 18 percent between April of 2017 and last month.
“That tells me that we have managed to get through the spring break travel period. The fact that it occurred in the midst of a major construction project, I think we’ll be able to accommodate the increase in summer traffic as well.”
She says by then, the terminal should re-open, and passenger flow will begin to improve. The roadway in front of the terminal will be the final piece. Callahan says every part of the project is aimed at improving the passenger experience by updating the 55-year-old airport and creating a seamless path from curb to aircraft.
“This achieves that by getting rid of the old terminal façade and replacing it with glass, for example. By opening up the terminal, it allows that line of sight to continue beyond the next 10 to 20 feet to be able to see the checkpoint, to see your pathway.”
Until then, Callahan strongly urges passengers to arrive at least two hours prior to departure to account for parking and other delays due to construction. She says the next phase in two weeks will relocate rental car operations to terminal “A” on the second floor. Terminal “B” airline ticketing desks will move to their respective baggage claim areas.