An American Airlines jet is parked at a gate at Jacksonville International Airport on Friday, May 10, 2024. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville TodayAn American Airlines jet is parked at a gate at Jacksonville International Airport on Friday, May 10, 2024. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today
An American Airlines jet is parked at a gate at Jacksonville International Airport on Friday, May 10, 2024. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today

Construction begins on new concourse at Jax airport

Published on May 10, 2024 at 2:47 pm

Construction is beginning on a long-delayed concourse at Jacksonville International Airport.

The 190,000-square-foot Concourse B will bring six new gates to the terminal, adding to the 20 on Concourses A and C.

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American Airlines will use five of the new gates. A checkpoint expansion, runway expansion and a six-story parking garage also are planned.

Speaking at a groundbreaking Friday, Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Marek VanLoh said the $300 million concourse is need to handle a growing number of travelers.

“There is no room to park; there’s no room to sit down; there’s lines everywhere; and there’s really a lot of gate space needed for flights,” VanLoh said. “There’s really a lot of gate space that is needed for flights — sometimes you are sitting on the airplane waiting for a gate to open up, and nobody wants that.”

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More than 7.4 million passengers flew in or out of the airport in 2023, a 13% increase over the previous year, surpassing 2019’s record of almost 7.2 million, airport officials said. That comes down to about 15,000 travelers a day, which the current airport is not built for, VanLoh said.

Predictions are even higher when the new concourse opens. “We will be well over 8 million by then, easily,” VanLoh said.

The new Concourse B will include six gates. | Jacksonville Aviation Authority

Visit Jacksonville CEO Michael Corrigan said the concourse will make it possible to expand flights in Jacksonville.

“When you start doing that, you need to make sure the customer’s experience is wonderful,” Corrigan said. “That is where the parking comes in. When you add new parking, it just makes the traveler’s convenience that much better.”

Preliminary plans for the third concourse were actually considered back in 2007, but a final design was not ready to go until last year after delays and the need for the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct environmental studies, airport officials said. Construction was planned to start in 2023, then was rescheduled.

Concourse B, shown in brown, will be built between Concourses A and C at Jacksonville’s airport terminal. | Jacksonville International Airport

VanLoh said the federal government is paying for the concourse through airline ticket taxes and FAA trust funds, but nothing from Jacksonville. “No taxpayers paid for this,” he said.

The new concourse will begin at the food court. Club JAX and pet relief areas are just past the current security checkpoint. The addition will have space for concessions, restrooms and seating areas at each gate, with moving sidewalks to and from the main terminal .

The airport also has to add a new taxiway for the Concourse B to allow for aircraft movement. The airport’s Surface Weather System then needs to be moved, along with radio communications gear.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Marek VanLoh speaks about the new Concourse B before a groundbreaking Friday, May 10, 2024. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today

VanLoh said he hopes the concourse will be done in less than two years,

Groundbreaking will come soon for a third parking garage next to the existing two, at an estimated cost of $100 million, VanLoh said. The garage will provide an additional 2,200 spaces. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

The airport plans to open a permanent third economy lot on Memorial Day weekend. More changes to employee parking areas, valet vehicle storage and valet customer pickup and elsewhere could add another 1,287 spots.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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