Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is located five miles north-east of downtown Birmingham. The airport is owned by the Birmingham Airport Authority. It is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Alabama and serves the regions of Birmingham, Alabama and Central Alabama.
The airport was opened in 1931 and was initially known as Birmingham Municipal Airport. Later, in 2008, the airport was renamed as Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in honour of Fred Shuttlesworth.
The cost incurred to change the name was approximately $3m and the name change was approved by the FAA in 2009.
The airport is served by several domestic and international airlines such as American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines. It handled more than 2.9 million passengers in 2010.
The number of aircraft movements recorded in 2009 was 123,133.
Expansion of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport
The growth of passenger traffic necessitated the expansion of the airport. In the 1990’s runway 18/36 was extended and the interior of the terminal was renovated.
The renovation works included floor surfaces and upgrading of public spaces. In 1993, the airport marked the completion of a $50.4m terminal renovation.
In early 2000, a 64m-tall control tower was constructed and improvements were made to existing air cargo areas. In 2007, runway 6/24 was extended.
The air cargo expansion and resurfacing of the apron area were completed in 2008. The project also included the widening of the existing taxiway. The air cargo expansion was estimated to cost $20m.
On 28 February 2011 the airport began a terminal renovation project worth $201m. The renovation will include upgrading of the existing concourses B and C.
An additional 50,000-75,000ft² storage building is planned for construction. The project will initially focus on relocating the rental car counters to the new facility in the parking deck.
Additionally the foundation work on concourse B will be undertaken. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2014.
An access roadway connecting the expanded cargo area to the airport highway will also be constructed. The airport authority has planned to add a new concourse A and security screening areas.
Terminals at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International
The airport has a single terminal building, which is divided into two concourses B and C. Concourse B consists of six gates, B1- B6 and concourse C has 13 gates, C1-C13.
The ground floor of the building features an aircraft servicing facility. The second floor of the terminal building has passenger gates and airside baggage handling.
Baggage carts are located at curb-side on the upper level near terminal entrances and also at baggage claim on the ground floor.
ATM facilities are situated on the upper level between concourses B and C. International medical assistance facilities are also available at the airport.
In order to assist arriving passengers a skycap service is available at the baggage claim. This facility is offered by Huntleigh Corporation.
On 13 April 2011, as part of the expansion, terminal A was demolished to provide space for a new Concourse A.
In the coming months, concourse B will be demolished and the foundation work on Concourse A will begin.
The airport is equipped with two runways designated as 6/24 and 18/36, which are 3,658m and 2,164m long respectively. Both runways are surfaced with asphalt.
Air traffic controls systems at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth
The air traffic control tower of the airport is 64m long. The tower was opened in May 2001 and is being operated by the FAA. The original air traffic control tower, which was built in 1960, was demolished in 2001.
The multistorey car park is situated close to the terminal building. The car park provides 5,600 spaces dedicated for hourly and daily parking.
The second, fourth and a part of the third level are dedicated for daily parking. The third level of car park features hourly parking.
Short term, long term and valet parking are available at the airport. Short term car parking spaces are situated on level 3. Long term parking spaces are located at levels 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
There are more than 1,000 spaces for long term parking. A valet parking service is dedicated for VIP passengers. Additionally, parking for disabled passengers is also offered.
There is a part of the car park known as the remote lot situated on airline drive near the terminal area. It accommodates approximately 900 parking spaces.
This facility is for passengers who park their vehicles for an extended amount of time.
The cell phone lot is a parking area that is also situated on airline drive. It is dedicated for the drivers who pick up the arriving passengers.
The car park has colour code zones on all the levels, which helps in easy location of vehicles.
There are numerous limousines, taxis and shuttles operating to and from the airport. Taxi service is available outside the baggage claim area. The rental car counters are situated at ground floor level on the terminal building and concourse B.