Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, is planning US$35m-worth of upgrades to help it cater to a growing number of passengers – 637,000 departures were said to have flown from departures last year, which is a new record. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, the work will include additional hangars for private planes, a new baggage system, a new rental car maintenance garage and additional parking.
The garage serving the four rental companies on the airport’s grounds will require the biggest investment – around US$20m. The current facility is said to be outdated. Similarly, the existing baggage system is thought to be more than 18 years old, with its replacement estimated to cost US$5m. In terms of hangars, a large facility for multiple aircraft and five smaller versions housing one vehicle each are planned.
Bonds for the upgrades have already been approved by the Lexington Urban City Council. Although the airport generates its own revenues and does not receive local tax dollars, its bonds must be issued by the city. Eric J Frankl, the airport’s executive director, who estimates that the upgrades will take two to three years, said of the bonds, “We felt that we needed to take advantage of these low interest rates now.”