Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Sixth-Busiest in the World, to Expand

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the sixth-busiest airport in the world in terms of take-offs and landings, this according to data released by the Airports Council International. The almost 540,000 takeoffs and landings handled in 2011 lifted the airport from the eleventh position it held in 2006. It also experienced [...]

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the sixth-busiest airport in the world in terms of take-offs and landings, this according to data released by the Airports Council International. The almost 540,000 takeoffs and landings handled in 2011 lifted the airport from the eleventh position it held in 2006. It also experienced a passenger increase of 2.4 percent compared to 2010, so it should not necessarily come as a surprise that the airport itself is expanding.

According to WCNC-TV, work recently began on a new $160 million parking deck at the airport, which is expected to be completed in 2014. Charlotte Douglas is currently in the process of a $1 billion, seven-year expansion plan that envisions an eight-lane entrance road, a fifth runway, an expanded main terminal and a freestanding international terminal. There may even be a tram connecting separate terminals.

In further logistics and transportation news, Norfolk Southern Corporation and the City of Charlotte have signed a lease agreement that starts the development of the new $90 million regional intermodal facility at Charlotte-Douglas International.

The new 200-acre facility will replace the existing 40-acre one along North Davidson and North Brevard Streets in Uptown. Not only will the development at the airport provide more space for Norfolk Southern’s operations, it will also decrease and reroute freight traffic from the uptown area. Moreover, once completed, the intermodal facility will incur a projected $9 billion economic impact over the next 20 years.

First envisioned in 1997 in the Airport’s Strategic Development Plan, the project is expected to be completed in 2014. According to a Norfolk Southern press release, the company will provide $74.3 million for development, while the remaining $15.7 million will be secured through state and federal grants.

Photo courtesy of DearEdward via flickr.com