Local airport moves forward with terminal improvement plan

Through the CARES Act, the airport received $18.5 million, more than the amount Brownsville, McAllen, and Corpus Christi received combined.
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 9:13 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - An airport of the future is the goal the Laredo International Airport says it’s trying to achieve with its new terminal improvement plan.

Some of the renovations include moving the security checkpoint to allow for more room, offering more food and drink options, and modernizing the bathrooms.

“We know the bones of this terminal are great, but we want to improve the passenger experience," said Jeffrey Miller, airport director. “Those things are bathrooms and concessions and ultimately moving the checkpoint.”

Through the CARES Act, the airport received $18.5 million, more than the amount Brownsville, McAllen and Corpus Christi received combined.

Part of the funds will go towards adding a service pet relief area and a nursing station for mothers.

“This is a large-scale project to present to the community. Something they could touch, feel, see,” Miller said.

UV lights will also be installed to continuously disinfect the escalators.

Miller says now is a good time to start the renovations with fewer travelers during the pandemic.

The bathrooms and concessions are a part of the first phase, and passengers may see some of the construction already.

“I think we can add those little niches here that people expect when they go to an airport," Miller said. "You can arrive early and still have those services that you expect at a Houston or Dallas [airport].”

The project will also bring more jobs to the local economy, as electricians, plumbers, construction workers and much more are needed.

“It may be at the airport right now, but it affects the entire community when you start seeing funds put into Laredo.”

The airport director says passengers will see some of these changes as early as next year.

On Wednesday, Congressman Henry Cuellar announced an additional $15.8 million awarded to the airport.

These funds will go toward transforming the cargo loading area from military to commercial.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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