Philadelphia International Airport will now be able to carry out its expansion plan following the signing of an agreement between the city of Philadelphia, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, and the Interboro School District, ending years of unresolved issues.

With the agreement, the airport can now move ahead with its expansion plans in the Delaware County without acquiring 72 Tinicum houses and displacing around 300 residents.

As two-thirds of the airport is in Tinicum, the agreement also included funding to protect tax revenues for Delaware County, Tinicum Township and the Interboro School District. The four parties had announced the agreement in principle last year which was finalised with the signing of the agreement.

The airport had been awarded the Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP), a 13-year, $5.2bn expansion in December 2010 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that had recognised the need for expanding the airport.

Speaking about the agreement, president of the Tinicum Township Board of Commissioners, Thomas Giancristoforo said: "This agreement achieves the ultimate goal we have been trying to reach for years – preserving Tinicum’s neighbourhoods and securing a stream of revenue that will benefit the township and its people for decades to come."

Under the agreement, the airport will make an annual payment of $1.86m that will be split among Delaware County, Tinicum Township, and the Interboro district. It will also make a one-time payment of $500,000 to Interboro and will pay the township $1m annually for 20 years or until the airport expansion is completed, reported

The expansion includes a 1,500 foot runway extension for providing easier access to larger aircraft travelling the longest international routes, airfield taxiway improvements, design of a new Automated People Mover (APM) system, construction of a new consolidated rental car facility, redesigning of Terminal B and C to provide new ticketing, baggage screening, and security screening and several other airport rehabilitation infrastructure projects like roof and window replacements, escalator replacements, new restrooms and security upgrades.

Image: An aerial view of the Philadelphia International Airport. Photo: courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.