The City of Philadelphia, Delaware County, Tinicum Township and Interboro School District have reached an agreement that will allow the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to move ahead with its airport expansion plan.
With this move, the City of Philadelphia, which owns and operates PHL, has reached an understanding with nearby areas after a period of nearly eight years.
The agreement will allow the Airport to fully implement the Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP), which was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The CEP is a comprehensive programme to expand and modernise the airport, in order to improve operational efficiencies, customer experiences and connectivity.
The airport will be expanded using largely undeveloped parcels of land, leaving the existing neighbourhood east of 4th Avenue intact.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said: "The expansion of the airport will mean regional growth, which means more jobs and economic opportunities for residents in the region."
Philadelphia International Airport CEO Mark Gale said: "This agreement was brought about through a great deal of hard work and collaboration, which is good for all parties involved and integral to the CEP and the vitality of the entire Philadelphia region."
The tentative agreement settles several years of litigation, while lowering its impact on the people of Tinicum Township, the city’s closest neighbors and where two-thirds of the airport is located.
It will eliminate the need to acquire 72 Tinicum Township homes and relocate approximately 300 Tinicum residents.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to evaluate the tentative agreement, which includes funding to ensure continuity of tax revenues for the airport’s Delaware County neighbours as the CEP moves forward.
The agreement also continues payments the airport made to its Delaware County neighbours that had been stalled since 2007.
Expected to be completed in phases over 12 to 15 years, the multi-billion dollar project will be funded through airport revenue bonds, passenger facility charges, federal Airport Improvement Program grants, and other airport revenues.
Philadelphia International Airport has the capacity to handle over 30 million travellers annually.