Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) in Ohio has broken ground on a US$34m gate modernization project, the final element of its 10-year, US$110m capital improvement campaign coined CAK 2018.
The gate modification project consists of three main phases. Phase 1 will involve utility and drainage work, and the construction of a 206,000ft2 (19,150m2) concrete aircraft parking apron. In some areas, this apron will have 15in-thick (38cm) concrete sections. The current gates for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines originally opened in 1962.
Phase 2 will involve the actual construction of the new gates. This will include a two-level concourse consisting of 41,600ft2 (3,860m2), similar to its existing second-floor gates.
Phase 3 involves the demolition of the old gate complex, allowing 67,000ft2 (6,270m2) of aircraft parking apron.
Bright, open spaces with ample seating and power outlets will be put in place, and new food and beverage options will include a new sit-down restaurant and large bar within the gate area, in addition to grab-and-go choices like Cinnabon and Arby’s.
The free business lounge, mother’s room and Kids PlayPort will find new homes in the expanded concourse, along with new features like a pet relief area. The terminal makeover also includes jet bridges on every gate.
Rick McQueen, president and CEO of Akron-Canton Airport, said, “As we see Northeast Ohio advancing from an economic and tourism standpoint, we need to be ready. We intend for the facility to be a warm and welcoming first impression for travelers, just like the region. We also know that projects of this scale take a long time to get off the ground, so despite some air service challenges, this is the right time to move forward with construction.
“While we have done a nice job maintaining these older gates, we realize they are too congested and lack amenities our customers prefer. Not only will this help meet our standards for customer service and experience, it also aligns with those of our airline partners. The space has served our community well, but our customers deserve better. Phases of this project have been orchestrated to minimize customer impact.”
The new gates are expected to be operational by late fall of 2019 or spring of 2020, depending on any implications caused by weather.