In a significant step towards embracing the future, Central Ohio’s primary airport, John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), is embarking on an ambitious journey to build a new terminal.
The existing terminal, a steadfast symbol of aviation history since its opening in 1958, is now approaching the twilight of its serviceable life. As Central Ohio experiences rapid growth and transformation, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) recognizes the need for a modern facility that can cater to the region’s soaring air travel demands.
Central Ohio is poised to exceed a population of 3 million people by 2050. With the Columbus metropolitan area firmly establishing itself as the fastest-growing hub in the Midwest, the demand for reliable air travel options has never been higher.
CMH, situated at the heart of this dynamic region, plays a pivotal role in connecting travelers to their destinations. Acknowledging this, the airport authority is proactively working on a visionary plan to construct a new terminal that can seamlessly accommodate the anticipated surge in passenger traffic for years to come.
To bring the project to fruition, CRAA has forged powerful collaborations with industry leaders. The globally renowned architecture, design, and planning firm, Gensler, in tandem with Columbus-based Moody Nolan, is lending their expertise to create a cutting-edge terminal design.
Meanwhile, the construction prowess of Hensel Phelps Construction Co., in partnership with local stalwart Elford, is set to bring this architectural marvel to life. These selected teams not only demonstrate their commitment to innovation but also emphasize their dedication to fostering partnerships with local businesses and diverse firms.
The financing of the new terminal reflects a diversified approach, encompassing various sources. In line with its self-sustaining model, the airport’s funding will stem from a combination of revenue streams. Contributions from airlines, passenger user fees, tenants, parking facilities, concessions, and other non-airline sources will collectively contribute to the development.
Additionally, federal grants will play a role in supporting this transformative endeavor, underscoring the collaborative efforts between local and federal entities.
The new terminal is planned to be situated on the current grounds of the Blue and Cell Phone Parking Lots, adjacent to the existing Rental Car Center. This strategic location underscores the airport authority’s meticulous planning, aiming to optimize accessibility and convenience for passengers.
The Next Steps
The board of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority voted in January to approve $250 million in funding for the project, which is expected to cost $2 billion in total. The groundbreaking could go down as early 2025 and the new terminal open by early 2029.
As Central Ohio propels itself into a new era of growth and innovation, the forthcoming terminal stands as a testament to the region’s unwavering commitment to progress. With a team of accomplished professionals and a visionary approach to funding, the new terminal is set to cater to the evolving needs of Central Ohio’s burgeoning population for generations to come.