Our City Online


Columbus Airport to Receive $80 Million Renovation and Modernization

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus Airport to Receive $80 Million Renovation and Modernization
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors will meet next week to discuss a proposed $80 million terminal renovation and modernization program that will provide a major facelift for Port Columbus. The project includes renovations of the ticket lobby, baggage claim, Concourses A, B and C as well as upgrades to mechanical, technological and security systems.

“Since 2001, more than $627 million has been invested in critical airport improvements including roadway, runway and baggage handling upgrades, among many others. Now is the time for the Airport Authority to make the investment in the Port Columbus terminal,” said Elaine Roberts, A.A.E., President & CEO of the Airport Authority. “The Terminal Modernization Program will enhance the appearance and functionality of Port Columbus in support of the airport’s role of providing essential air service to Central Ohio business and leisure travelers.”

The new terminal will provide a contemporary design that is comfortable, convenient and safe for travelers. Renovations include new flooring and carpeting, natural lighting and restroom upgrades.

“The Terminal Modernization Program, which was conceived following months of intense study and research, builds upon the functional characteristics of an existing 55-year-old structure that will look and operate like new and have the capacity to serve our airline partners and central Ohio travelers with even greater efficiency,” added Roberts.

The first phase of construction is scheduled to begin in November at Concourse A. The entire Terminal Modernization Program will continue with construction through 2015.

Port Columbus currently has the capacity to serve 8 to 10 million passenger per year through over 140 daily flights to 32 airports. According to the Authority Board, the airport contributes a $3.7 billion annual economic impact to the region.

More information can be found online at FlyColumbus.com.

Print Friendly


  • Molly

    If the Airport Authority has $80 million to spend on giving an already comfortable, pleasant, and accommodating airport a facelift, then city and state officials are not doing enough to get a hold of that money and channel it to transportation services that Columbus actually needs and that far more of its residents–including those without the means to fly frequently–would actually use. We are the largest metropolitan area in the country not served by rail. We have no streetcars. We have no widely-used public transportation services to and from the airport. We have no bike lanes on major streets. Our commuter policy consists solely of widening roadways. The Airport Authority probably want this money to somehow attract another major carrier to serve Columbus, but the airport’s infrastructure seems to me already far too big for the modicum of traffic coming in and out of it. A needless makeover at this kind of expense shows that Columbus, and Ohio, know how to put priorities in the wrong place.

  • CMHflyer


    The funding for this project is from PFC’s (Passenger Facility Charges) and the airports general fund and operating budgets. So, in short, those that use the airport are the ones paying for the upgrade. Besides, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority is its own governing body and is not an arm of the City of Columbus. The city can’t just take and move funds from the CRAA. That’d be like saying the city should redirect COTA’s capital expenditures budget towards upgrading sewer lines.

  • cowtownposse

    Bring back Skybus!

  • scorpcmh

    The airport terminal has not been updated in some time. It looks bad in comparison to most others. I am not understanding Molly’s post either….completeley different entities. Would like better transit options also but need to compare apples to apples.

  • Cbusbill

    I agree ‘scorpchm’. Molly, your frustration on Columbus’ lack of other transit amenities hold merit, but the attack on this project is misguided (largely because its funding model can’t be tied to other projects like the ones you mentioned). While I love how intimate and uncrowded our airport is…its definitely a dinosaur in terms of asthetics/functionality. Let’s not confuse “comfortable, pleasant, and accommodating” with “functional, modern or innovative”. If/when CMH sees the travel volume other major airports handle, we’ll see feedback of “outdated, frustrating and burdonsome” unless we address the reality that our 50 yr old airport needs periodic updates. Plus, the $80 million price tag is a drop in the bucket compared to what other cities have spent building new terminals.

  • columbusmike

    I thought the whole reason the airport was moving the runway was to build an entirely new terminal on the south side of International Gateway and abandon the existing terminal. Apparently, that idea has been shelved?

  • fclaugus

    Moving the runway increases traffic capacity.

    From columbusairports.com :

    The current airfield layout restricts the Annual Service Volume (ASV) for the airport due to the proximity of the runways to each other. Air Traffic Safety regulations require that aircraft approaching the airport in instrument
    conditions maintain a minimum three mile in-trail separation. By moving the runways farther apart and adding an approach monitoring radar such as PRM, it will be possible to allow simultaneous (side by side) approaches to the runways, reducing the required spacing between arrivals. This will result in reduced delay for aircraft operations. The increased separation will allow for greater flexibility for the proposed terminal design and allow more options for terminal layout to make the best use of the land available.


  • Cbusbill

    columbusmike October 18, 2012 9:45 am
    I thought the whole reason the airport was moving the runway was to build an entirely new terminal on the south side of International Gateway and abandon the existing terminal. Apparently, that idea has been shelved?

    I found it curious as well this article didn’t mention the long-term initiative to build a second terminal (the plan was not to abandon the existing terminal, but rather subsidize it with another one that could be built out over time to meet increased demand). Since that long-term plan was established before the 2008 resession, and passenger loads have not increased at the rates projected (if anything, they’re only now back to pre-resession numbers), the long-term plan may simply be delayed. I’m still hopeful its in the master plan. I don’t necessarily want to deal with a 60 yr old terminal that is stretched to capacity. Laguardia comes to mind (shutter)…

  • columbusmike

    I don’t necessarily think Columbus needs a new terminal. The current terminal will be fine, especially with the enhancements. The current terminal is pretty BLAH and doesn’t really say, “Welcome to Columbus!”

  • lbl

    i hope they put in some of those moving sidewalks.

  • sabele

    If you miss a flight and have to reconnect on another airline, you currently run the risk of having to re-clear security to get between concourses. Not good airport design. An improved terminal will help attract carriers, and businesses that require their service. As a frequent business traveller I’m in favor of any and all improvements that can improve the flying experience and attract more passengers and more non-stop routes, all of which are good for our local economy. No one wants to come do business in a place that is hard to get to or without a direct flight.

  • alove

    I think there’s a big potential for making Columbus more of a destination city for business or traveling with this project. My suggestion would be to strive for modern and clean aesthetics with a focus on local art and passenger comfort. The most comfortable airport terminal I have ever been to is Terminal 2 in SFO.

    With this modernization I hope they keep in mind the possibility of adding a light rail terminal of some sort.


metro categories