PTI Airport Upgrades Coming In The Near Future

PTI airport officials said several construction improvement projects are underway to modernize the airport.

GUILFORD COUNTY, NC – Construction is underway on several improvement projects at Piedmont Triad International (PTI) airport.

Kevin Baker, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, said he would split the projects into passenger-related and the other related to economic development.

“It’s kind of how things are around airports, especially here, we’re kind of open to things that are happening, it’s great, it’s the way we like to operate,” said said Baker. Having a lot going on at once obviously requires a lot of management, which is what we like to see happen. It’s a sign of growth.”

Baker said PTI is in the early stages of modifying the airport concourses. He said they are original for the building and are around 40 years old. There are also plans to replace the terminal doors, restrooms and six escalators. Baker said replacing the doors and escalators go hand in hand because, without the doors, they are able to bring the large escalators into the building.

“There are just a lot of things that can go wrong with an escalator, especially ones that are (are) 40 years old (…) and fixing them tends to be very cumbersome,” Baker said.

The doors and escalators together will cost $4.2 million, while the bathrooms will cost around $2 million.

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PTI is also rebuilding the oldest of its two parallel tracks.

“Just like a road, over time tracks need to be repaired and it was time for a major repair,” Baker said.

A new control tower was also built, more than double the height of the original tower built in the 1970s. Currently, the FAA is installing the equipment it will need to operate the tower. Baker said it should be operational by the end of 2022.

“Primarily, the cabin in this tower was not built or designed to be able to handle parallel runways because at that time we did not have the western parallel runway and therefore the cabin configuration did not allow the controller to be able to see west very easily,” Baker said.

Boom Supersonic has also started work on its site at the airport. The company plans to create more than 1,700 jobs by 2030 at its new jet factory.

“These are very important projects for the community,” added Baker. “If you don’t have that kind of growth in your community, you’re not growing. The airport is the center of employment in that community and the center of expertise in the aerospace industry that is really, really valuable to this community.”

Baker said Boom Supersonic is just the beginning of the airport’s development. He said Boom only takes up 65 acres and the airport has 1,000 acres available.

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Baker said the airport’s mission is to provide an excellent passenger experience, but also to be a place of employment for the Triad.

“We strive to ensure that we provide the best possible experience and any improvements we make are always with this objective in mind as far as the passenger is concerned.”

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