Better Runways, Automated People Mover Officially Coming to PHL Airport

Officials signed a formal agreement today that allows for projects contingent upon the deal.

Alright, just hold your horses for a minute. Action News may be psyched about the “long-awaited multi-billion-dollar expansion project” in store for the Philadelphia International Airport, but the truth is the agreement was made in principal a year ago. In fact, today’s ceremony was simply a formal signing that allows some of the on-hold projects within PHL’s Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP) to happen.

So what will the CEP do? Here’s how the press release describes it:

The CEP is a comprehensive program to modernize Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) over the next 12-15 years. It is an investment in airfield, terminal and cargo projects and will improve operational efficiencies, enhance customer experiences and increase the region’s global connectivity at one of the nation’s busiest airports.

The CEP has several projects up its sleeve, some of which, as mentioned, were on hold. Today’s agreement formalized the deal and addressed those contingent on the agreement signed today. The hold up was due to land acquisition and tax litigation matters involving the City of Philadelphia (which owns the airport), Tinicum Township, the Interboro School District, and Delaware County. The agreement provisions make way for the airport expansion to creep into portions of Delaware County “without the need to acquire 72 Tinicum Township homes and relocate approximately 300 Tinicum residents.” Yay for not dislocating residents! Also, emphasis ours.

Here are some of the currently approved CEP projects:

• Design and construction of a 1,500 foot extension of runway 27L to 12,000 feet that will enable aircraft to travel longer international routes. Construction of Airfield taxiway improvements that will enable greater flexibility and efficiency for departures and arrivals.

• Plan and design of a new Automated People Mover (APM) system, which can move travelers between terminals quickly and conveniently.

• Plan to design and construct a new consolidated rental car facility so customers can go to a single location and shuttle traffic will be reduced on Airport roadways.

• Plan to re-design Terminal B/C to provide new ticketing, baggage screening, and security screening.

H/T: Report: PHL to announce multibillion-dollar expansion [Philadelphia Business Journal]