Blue Grass Airport working on ‘master plan’ for expansion projects
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More and more people are traveling to and from Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.
Airport officials want to accommodate passengers as best as they can. So, they’re developing a master plan for expansion projects in the coming years.
The master plan is created by forecasting future airport activity in all sectors of aviation. Airport officials say this is so that their facilities can meet future needs.
Blue Grass Airport President and CEO Eric Frankl says the last terminal expansion was in 2006. Though it’s served the airport well for many years, he says the type of aircraft has changed, causing some challenges.
“The current terminal was built, really, with 50 and 70-seat aircraft in mind,” said Frankl. “Now, we’re having 130-seat, 150-seat, 160-seat aircraft on a regular basis.”
Frankl says, while this is a good thing, their current facilities weren’t built for this amount of passengers, he says, especially as they reach pre-pandemic levels again.
“The seating areas are probably too small, and maybe some of the restrooms aren’t large enough for that volume of people all at the same time. Restaurants, gift shops, similar scenario,” said Frankl.
Terminal renovations are just one part of the master plan. Adding more parking is another. First, Frankl says they need to move the air traffic control tower. He says where it is now won’t allow them to follow through with these ideas.
“It really kind of inhibits our ability to grow both parking, the roadways, and, to some degree, the terminal,” said Frankl.
Frankl says each part of the master plan is based on activity levels. He says once they hit those, that’s when they can start the design and construction.
“Sometimes these projects, particularly terminal renovations, they can take five or 10 years to do,” Frankl said. “So, by having this plan, we will basically get ourselves a step ahead of the activity.”
If you’re interested in giving input on the master plan, there will be an open house on August 8 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Campbell House Lexington.
After the public meeting, the master plan is expected to be completed by the end of this year or early next year. It’ll be submitted to the FAA for review.
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