Friday, September 25, 2020

FFA funds study for new Brownsville airport passenger terminal

Part of $717,000 federal grant

Michael Jones & Larry A. Brown, Brownsville-SPI Intl Airport | Aug 30, 2012

A photo of the airport in Brownsville, Texas during the 1930s. (Photo courtesy of Tequila Group)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas Most of the $717,000 grant is for Airport infrastructure to keep the runways and taxiways up to speed to accommodate the growing Airport’s air traffic.  But $175,000 is for phase two of a study to build a new passenger terminal for the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.  “We are at capacity now” said Brownsville’s Aviation Director Larry A. Brown.  “Earlier this year we had invitations from four airlines to visit their headquarters to discuss adding more flights and new destinations.”  Brown continued, “If they all decided to come at once, it would take some creative scheduling to make it work.  We could do it, but this dramatically highlights the need for a larger, more modern passenger terminal.”

In 2004 Brownsville had only 3 flights and one airline.  Today there are three airlines and as many as 12 flights including the only international passenger service from any of the five area airports.  “This unprecedented, rapid growth has strained our resources”  Brown said, adding “We realized we needed a larger terminal and more parking in 2009 when American Airlines began non-stop flights from Brownsville to DFW.”  To help keep up with the growth, the Airport opened eight new parking lots last year and began to charge for secure parking.

When the new terminal study is complete, Brownsville will have to decide whether to build a brand new terminal or try and remodel and enlarge the existing terminal.  Brownsville’s Airport opened in 1929. The current terminal was built in 1970 and remodeled in 2000.  It currently serves approximately 200,000 passengers each year.

An architect's concept drawing of a new terminal at the airport in Brownsville.

An architect's concept drawing of a new airport terminal. Photo courtesy Tequila Group

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About the author:

Rafael Benavides is a journalist, anthropologist, businessman, adventurer and storyteller at heart. He is an investigator and inquisitive by nature.

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