Capital improvement projects worth an estimated $72 million either have gotten under way already this year at Spokane International Airport (SIA) or are planned to start between now and the end of 2008, airport officials say.
SIA expects that those projects will have an estimated economic impact here of roughly $180 million, airport spokesman Todd Woodard says. In its economic impact assessment, SIA factored in sales of construction-related materials and the value of roughly 2,900 jobs that would stem directly or indirectly from the projects, he says.
SIAs 2006 lineup of improvements follows on the heels of several projects, which have a total cost of $31 million, that were launched at the airport last year, Woodard says. The largest of those, construction of a 264-foot air traffic control tower by the Federal Aviation Administration, will cost about $23 million and wont be completed until August 2007.
The airports plans for 2006 include projects with a combined total cost of roughly $24 million, Woodard says. The work includes the $18 million terminal, rotunda, and Concourse C enhancement project, known as the TRACE project, he says. That project started last month and involves, among other things, renovating and expanding SIAs retail and concessions facilities and moving its police dispatch services. SIA expects to complete that big job by November.
The TRACE project will provide space for eight new retail shops, including stores operated by such Spokane-area vendors as Aunties Bookstore and the Simply Northwest gift business. The project is expected to increase the number of eating and drinking places at SIA to 11 from four. The new food and beverage retailers will include two Starbucks coffee shops, a Davids Pizza outlet, a Northern Lights Brewing Co. pub, a Coeur dAlene Brewing Co. pub, and a Quiznos sandwich shop, among others.
Lydig Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the TRACE project. SmartDesign Group Inc., of Vancouver, B.C., is the architect, and Coffman Engineers Inc., of Spokane, did the engineering work.
As part of the package of 2006 improvements, SIA plans to build a $3.5 million new home on the east side of the airport for Spokane Airways Inc., a longtime fixed-base operator at SIA, Woodard says. A fixed-based operator provides refueling and other services to aircraft. SIA hasnt set a timetable for that project yet.
SIA also plans to build an 18,000-square-foot hangar near Spokane Airways new home so it can move a facility where Empire Airlines Inc., of Coeur dAlene, does maintenance work on small air-cargo aircraft and a facility where Absolute Aviation Services Inc., of Spokane, repairs componentry for the airline industry. That $1.7 million project is expected to start this August and wrap up by next May, Woodard says. Empire Airlines and Absolute Aviation share an older hangar now.
The FAA is requiring SIA to move the three companies because the buildings theyre in would obscure lines of sight from the new air traffic control tower, Woodard says.
Other projects planned to start this year include the building of additional taxiways on the east side of the airport along Pilot Drive for corporate and general aviation aircraft at a cost of about $500,000, Woodard says. Also on its east side, SIA plans to build a roughly 1,500-square-foot, $400,000 structure for a U.S. Customs & Border Protection inspection facility, he says.
Looking ahead, SIAs bundle of projects for 2007 has a total estimated cost of about $18 million. The work will include resurfacing the airports 9,000-foot-long main taxiway, which connects its main terminal to its main runway. That roughly $7 million project wont be completed until 2008, Woodard says.
Also next year, the FAA plans to demolish in a $3 million project the seven buildings that will be vacated by Spokane Airways, Empire Airlines, and Absolute Aviation Services, he says.
In addition, SIA hopes to build a new hangar in 2007 at a cost of $2.5 million, but hasnt determined yet exactly how that hangar will be used, Woodard says.
Other projects SIA hopes to start in 2007 include a $2.5 million expansion of an apron thats located south of Pilot Drive in front of XN Avionics hangar; safety improvements at the intersection of Spotted Road and Airport Drive; construction of a $1.2 million perimeter road for service vehicles, near a taxiway the airport built in 2005; and construction of a gas station and convenience store, at a cost of about $1 million, to serve motorists, Woodard says. A timetable for those projects hasnt been set yet, he says.
Farther out, in 2008, SIA hopes to start projects with a combined total cost of roughly $30.4 million, including a $26 million extension of its main runway, Woodard says. That extension could add up to 3,000 feet of length to the 9,000-foot-long runway and would enable SIA to accommodate larger aircraft.
SIA is considering buying land on the southwestern border of its property if it determines it needs to do so to extend the runway, he says. The cost of the land acquisition is estimated at about $2 million.
In 2008, SIA also expects to rehabilitate and possibly expand, at an estimated cost of about $2.4 million, the apron thats outside its main terminal, he says.
The cost of the big air traffic control tower project isnt included in the $74 million worth of work that either already is under way or will get started by the end of 2008. The FAA started construction of the tower in January 2005.
Also in 2005, SIA constructed a taxiway that cost nearly $10 million; a $1.6 million hangar for XN Avionics LLC, which is an affiliate of a Cheney company; and $1 million in renovations to the main terminals ticket wing, Woodard says.
SIA will tap several financing sources for its capital improvement projects, including a $4.50 passenger facility charge that it levies on passengers who are departing or making connections. The airport improvement program, which charges an 8 percent fee on each airline ticket, will finance several projects, as will general revenues collected from concession programs, lease agreements, and parking fees.
The FAAs facilities and equipment program, as well as funds from Washington states Community Economic Revitalization Board, will help finance projects as well, Woodard says.
The airport is a 4,800-acre commercial service airport that is owned jointly by the city of Spokane and Spokane County and is operated by the Spokane Airport Board, the members of which the city and county appoint.
Contact Emily Brandler at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE