Federal Relief Funds Boost Ogden Airport Terminal Expansion | News, Sports, Jobs
OGDEN — Funds from the federal infrastructure bill and COVID-19 relief appropriations will enable earlier-than-expected construction to nearly double the size of the terminal at Ogden-Hinckley Airport as part of a plan aimed at increasing the capacity of commercial flights.
Airport manager Bryant Garrett was in Phoenix on Wednesday, attending a conference where he hopes to attract other commercial airlines to Ogden. But first, about the terminal.
“At the end of the day, you’re limited by your infrastructure,” said Garrett, reached by phone with questions about new airport financing. “It’s a bottleneck. We’re trying to convert a terminal that was built in the late 1940s to accommodate multiple major airline flights at the same time.
In June of last year, the city approved terminal work worth more than $2 million, including $520,000 in local funds from rental income from Business Depot Ogden and $1.5 million in federal funds. . Now, an additional $5 million is available through federal coronavirus relief legislation and the 2021 infrastructure bill, according to city documents.
The planning commission recently approved the additional expenditures which, if approved by the city council, will enable work on the expansion of the terminal to begin quickly. Planning director Greg Montgomery said Wednesday the plan would be submitted to city council for final approval within weeks.
The area of the terminal will increase to more than 36,000 from the current 20,000, according to project plans. The current Transit Security Administration passenger lounge capacity is 204 people, making it impossible for airlines to schedule simultaneous flights when some of them have up to 180 passengers. Garrett said the expansion will bring capacity to 450 people.
The plan will also allow for the construction of an indoor baggage claim area – passengers currently collect their luggage from under a canopy outside the terminal. The expanded terminal will also have four gates, Garrett said.
Two airlines now use Ogden Airport: Allegiant Air, with flights to Mesa, Arizona, and Avelo Air to Burbank, California.
Garrett said the expansion follows recent upgrades such as the $250,000 terminal roof replacement and $350,000 work to remove the old air traffic control tower, which was seismically unstable.
The series of projects are being done for about $8 million without the city needing to go into debt, he said. A new terminal would cost between 45 and 60 million dollars.
Garrett said other projects include a new taxiway on the west side of the airport, where long-term plans look at the eventual construction of a new terminal as the airport’s needs grow.
Montgomery said the terminal expansion and the hoped-for expansion of airline operations will improve the airport’s bottom line, a step towards airport self-sufficiency. “We really always try to promote the airport and get others involved,” he said.
Amid the terminal expansion, the city navigates legal entanglements with longtime tenants of general aviation hangars. Under an airport master plan the city adopted in 2020, the city does not grant hangar lease renewals. Dozens of these tenants have filed a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging that their rights are being violated and that the city is unconstitutionally seizing improvements to their shed.