Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has broken ground on its AVL Forward project to build a new airport terminal in North Carolina.

This endeavour responds to the airport’s recent and ongoing growth. It will deliver a new terminal that will be 150% larger than the current airport and will increase the number of gates from seven to twelve.

The project will also offer ample room for further expansion.

Asheville airport terminal design
Architectural firm Gresham Smith led the design process, resulting in AVL Forward’s aesthetic vision

The new facility will include a spacious and bright grand lobby, state-of-the-art ticketing and baggage claim areas, an inviting concessions plaza, and thoughtfully designed gate areas to enhance passenger comfort and experience.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by local, regional and national elected officials, a corner of the 62-year-old airport terminal was torn down to make way for this new infrastructure.

Lew Bleiweis, President and CEO of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority (GARAA) said:

Our new airport terminal represents more than just a building; it signifies the promise of economic growth and prosperity for our community. We are creating an environment that not only facilitates air travel but also elevates the overall airport experience, designed to leave lasting positive impressions on all who pass through our doors.

The expansive project is a result of a 400 million USD investment made up of federal and state grants, airport revenue bonds and airport operating revenue.

Construction of the new terminal will be managed by Hensel Phelps, with project management supplied by Parsons.

The exterior design of the new terminal
The exterior design of the new terminal

Phase One will involve the demolition of the existing north concourse, followed by a two-year construction period to build seven gates and six boarding bridges, as well as new restrooms and concession areas. Additionally, this phase will expand the ticket lobby and baggage claim areas and construct a temporary TSA checkpoint.

When Phase One construction is complete, the new north concourse will open for passenger and airline use.

In Phase Two, the existing south concourse will be demolished and a new south concourse and second-level concessions plaza will be constructed over a 1.5-year period. The ticket lobby and baggage claim area will also be further expanded, and a new grand lobby and permanent TSA security checkpoint will be established.

Upon completion of this phase, the airport will feature all twelve of its new gates and will offer expansive space for all points in the passenger journey.

Finally, in Phase Three, ‘back of house’ construction will be completed and clean-up will continue behind the scenes for an additional year.


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