Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) in the US has started construction on a $34m gate modernisation and expansion project.

The latest project is the final part of CAK’s ten-year, $110m capital improvement campaign known as CAK 2018.

Akron-Canton Airport president and CEO Rick McQueen said: “As we see north-east 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 travellers, 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.”

The airport opened the current gates for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines in 1962, and despite best maintenance they are not feasible to serve modern aircraft.

“As we see north-east Ohio advancing from an economic and tourism standpoint, we need to be ready.”

The gate modification project comprises three main phases. Under the first phase, utility and drainage work will be executed. It also includes construction of a 22,900 square yard concrete aircraft parking apron.

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During the second phase, the actual construction of the new gates will take place, which will include a two-level concourse featuring 41,600ft² of space.

As part of the third and last phase, the old gate complex will be demolished to develop 7,500 square yards of aircraft parking apron.

Furthermore, the modernisation project will focus on new ample seating and abundant power outlets, new food and beverage options, free business lounge, mother’s room and Kids PlayPort.

The terminal upgrade will also include jet bridges on every gate to avoid passengers from making a quick movement from tarmac to aircraft in the event of stormy weather.

The new gates are scheduled to become operational by next year or in 2020.