The area beyond the TSA checkpoint is a bottleneck, but this project will widen and expand it to improve circulation and aesthetics and provide a more comfortable space past security for passengers collect their items, Turner said
The improvements are being paid through federal grants the airport has received and are part of several steps in improvements the airport will see in future years.
In the last half dozen years, the airport has finished multiple phases of its terminal master plan, which includes more than $30 million worth of projects to replace the entrances to its terminal and renovate the terminal canopy and interior.
Future work at airport
In January, the airport announced plans to invest more than $40 million in the next several years to also improve its concourses, consolidate its concession area and shorten the walk to its gates.
The airport plans to construct two new connectors to shorten the travel distance from the TSA checkpoint to its concourses by about 44%, officials said.
The new elevated connectors will provide more direct paths to Concourses A and B. The airport has 22 gates, and the current connectors were constructed more than 30 years ago.
Aviation officials say the connectors, which are about 550 feet long, are outdated and not energy efficient. The new connectors will be about 300 feet long and will have modern mechanical and lighting systems.
The connector project and other concourse access enhancements are expected to cost more than $37 million and could be completed by 2024/2025, officials said.
The airport also is going to consolidate its food concessions into a new second-floor area that will be much closer to the gates, Turner said. Travelers will be able to see the gates from the new food court area.
Hopefully, more travelers will patronize the businesses if they are closer to their gates and it’s a straight shot and don’t have to worry about a long walk and missing their flights, he said.
Current concessions are located before security checkpoint, directly behind the security checkpoint and both on concourse A and concourse B, aviation officials said.
The airport also plans to centralize its escalators beyond the TSA checkpoint, which will lead up to the new second-level public space, eliminating duplication and improving the passenger experience, Turner said.
Passenger numbers still down
The number of passengers traveling through the airport has increased from last year at this time, but still has not returned to the level seen before the pandemic began, Linda Hughes, airport spokeswoman said.
“We still have not seen business travel return to what it was. As you know many companies have gone to Zoom calls or other forms of communication and are not requiring their employees to travel as much,” Hughes said.
Cornelius Frolik contributed to this story.
New flight added
Delta Air Lines will begin a new daily nonstop flight between Dayton International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York City starting Monday, June 6, city officials announced Thursday.
This will be the second daily flight between Dayton and New York at the airport. American also offers a daily flight.
This new service will operate on a CRJ-900 aircraft. The aircraft has 70 seats, including 12 first class and 20 Comfort+ seats.
“Our passengers and our community will benefit from the convenience of this new additional nonstop flight to LaGuardia,” said Gil Turner, the city’s director of aviation, in a statement.
The daily flight will take off from from New York City at 12:30 p.m. and land in Dayton at 2:20 p.m. The flight will leave Dayton at 3:05 p.m. from Dayton back to LaGuardia.