Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) is undergoing a major terminal expansion to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic.

The FWA terminal expansion forms a major part of the Project Gateway programme which also includes terminal apron improvements and installation of canopies and solar panels at the car rental space in the airport premises.

Operated by Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA), the airport handled more than 791,810 passengers in 2019.

Project Gateway is part of the airport’s master plan study unveiled in March 2012. Design works of the expansion commenced in August 2019 and the first phase of design was completed in December 2019.

Fort Wayne Airport terminal expansion project

FWA aims to expand its passenger terminal building to support the growth of Fort Wayne and the development of an improved terminal is the centrepiece of the Project Gateway. The terminal expansion project will involve renovations on the west and east sides of the terminal.

The airport operator issued a request for proposal for a construction manager for the upgrade and expansion of the west terminal in February 2020.

The west expansion will include the addition of a new checked baggage inspection system (CBIS) area under the concourse. It will also improve circulation around the ticketing counters, allowing more space for passenger queue lines.

The concourse will be extended from the end of the existing portion, while additional hold room space and boarding bridge will be built at the southern end of the apron.

A new security screening checkpoint will be established as part of the east terminal phase. The passenger movement will be towards the south of the checkpoint. A composure area with glazed walls will be created on the south facade for providing views of the airfield.

The east expansion of the concourse will add extra hold room space and a boarding bridge along the south face. Passengers arriving at the airport will pass through an exit lane breach control corridor before reaching the vertical circulation core that will provide expanded space for improved and comfortable experience.

Concessions at the ground level will be situated between the security screening checkpoint and the area designated for meters and greeters. A central concession area will be created on the concourse level to provide food and beverage options.

Parking and apron renovation details

FWACAA held the ground-breaking ceremony of the parking lot renovation project in April 2020. The works under the project mainly include the replacement of the existing asphalt and enhancements to the current parking lot.

Construction on the new terminal apron improvement project started in March 2020. The terminal apron improvement project received a federal airport improvement project (AIP) grant of $13.5m. It is being carried out under the East and West phases, with the majority of the works scheduled for completion in October 2020.

The east phase of the apron improvement project will mainly include expansion of the terminal ramp, rearrangement of perimeter road and fencing, and landside service vehicle road. Grades will be adjusted and some of the concrete panels will be replaced on the east side of the terminal apron.

Works on the west side will involve removal of jet blast fence and adjusting grade changes between the two ramps. The phase will also include the replacement of asphalt surfaces with concrete surfaces.

Other improvements at Fort Wayne Airport

The airport will be installed with new canopies which will rotate 90° and form a cantilever over the road. Diagonal kickers will be placed on both sides of the truss to provide support to the beams and ensure lateral stability.

The new kerb-front at the airport’s main entrance will feature a curved roof and clerestory to highlight the central glazing area on the northern façade of the airport and allow the entry of natural light into the structure. The remaining portion of the roof will be built as a flat plane.

A layer of horizontal slats will be used to partly screen the stair tower drive. The kerb-front model will include further glazing and clerestory through to the ticketing lobby and pillars.

A new terminal entrance road was constructed in January 2019. It leads to the main terminal building and creates new entrances for all the parking lots. The project also involved the installation of new signage, LED lighting, and improvements to cell phone lot.

Contractors involved

Superior Construction received the contract for executing the terminal apron improvement project. Crosby Excavating was the general contractor, while Passero Associates performed the engineering works for the terminal road construction project.

Mead & Hunt was selected by FWACAA to prepare the design for the west expansion phase of the terminal. Viridian Architectural Design also supported the design process of the terminal expansion.