Site Work Begins for New Winchester Regional Airport Terminal
Airport officials plan to replace the existing 9,245-square-foot terminal, which was built in 1989 and is outdated, with a new one roughly 100 feet south of the current location. The relocation is necessary because the airport needs to move its taxiway, which is north of the terminal, to meet revised FAA standards that require 400 feet between the taxiway and the terminal so that large aircraft don't hit each other. The taxiway connects the runway to the apron, hangars and other facilities, providing a path for aircraft.
Design work on the new terminal has not been completed and construction is unlikely to begin before 2023, but the airport is getting the site ready.
According to the Frederick County Capital Improvements Plan, the new terminal will cost an estimated $6.3 million. The airport hopes to finance much of the project through grants.
The site work that's taking place includes leveling the land, installing utilities and creating nearly 70 parking spaces to support the planned terminal building and taxiway relocation. Winchester-based Kee Construction was awarded an $847,785 contract for the site work, which began in April and is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Airport Executive Director Nick Sabo said 80% of the costs associated with the site work are covered by state funding, with the remaining 20% coming from local funds. Frederick County will fund 75% and Winchester 25%.
A $373,079 contract has been awarded to AECOM to design the new terminal. Sabo said designs should be completed later this year or early next year. The exact square footage of the new terminal has not been determined.
Sabo said the airport would like the new terminal to benefit the community.
“One of my goals is to ensure that the new terminal building is an asset to the community, not just the flying public,” Sabo said. “So with that, we want to make sure that we think about things that could be useful to the community like meeting space for civic groups or even public meetings to be held at the airport. Or space for business development groups, like the EDA (Economic Development Authority), to meet. But also have office suites where people can have their offices at the airport. The good thing on that front is that it would also be a revenue-generating potential for the airport and, of course, we’ve had a goal of becoming self-sufficient and self-sustainable for several years. Creating revenue-generating space in that new terminal seems like a good opportunity for us.”
The airport will work on the taxiway relocation over the next few years, with 2027 eyed as the completion date. The relocation will cost an estimated $20 million. The airport plans to begin the first phase of the taxiway relocation by next spring.