Jacksonville Aviation Authority delays Concourse B start until 2024

The JAA is waiting on FAA review and approvals before groundbreaking on the six-gate addition for completion in 2026.

The planned $300 million Concourse B expansion at Jacksonville International Airport.
The planned $300 million Concourse B expansion at Jacksonville International Airport.
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Groundbreaking for Concourse B at Jacksonville International Airport is now anticipated in the first quarter of 2024 for completion by the end of 2026.

Concourse B had been expected to start this year for completion in 2025.

Greg Willis, Jacksonville Aviation Authority marketing and public relations manager, said Sept. 18 that JAA did not have an absolute date to begin.

“We had originally anticipated a groundbreaking later this year, but it looks like that may get pushed to Q1 2024,” Willis said.

He said the authority is waiting on the Federal Aviation Administration to finish reviewing and approving several studies before JAA can proceed with construction.

Authority CFO Ross Jones told the authority board Finance and Audit Committee on Sept. 15 that Phase 1 in on schedule and Phases 2 and 3 are delayed to start by the summer of 2024.

The committee was told completion is estimated by the end of 2026.

Jacobs Engineering is shown as the contractor.

JAA previously had postponed work toward the expansion because of the 2020 pandemic.

The airport has one main terminal with two concourses totaling 20 gates, comprising 10 each for Concourse A and Concourse C.

Concourse B is designed as six gates.

The first Concourse B was demolished in 2009 and Concourses A and C were rebuilt in 2008.

The JAA board voted March 27 to ratify contracts with Balfour Beatty Construction LLC to purchase steel for the Concourse B project.

The contracts comprise a $24.57 million steel package to build Concourse B and a $2.6 million contract for the third phase of security checkpoint renovations at the airport.

JAA anticipates using $300 million in debt financing for Concourse B. It expects to use about $175 million in passenger facility charges to repay the debt over time, according to the committee report.

The JAA’s annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended in September 2022 said the authority has spent about $261.33 million of revenue from passenger facility charges on projects funded on a pay-as-you-go and financing basis. 

In 1990, Congress approved the Aviation Safety and Capacity Expansion Act which authorized domestic airports to impose a passenger facility charge on enplaning passengers that can be used for airport projects that meet at least one of the following criteria: preserve or enhance safety, security or capacity of the national air transportation system; reduce noise or mitigate noise impacts resulting from an airport; or furnish opportunities for enhanced competition between or among carriers. 

JAA had levied PFC charges at the rate of $3 per enplaned passenger since April 1, 1994. 

As of May 2, 2003, the FAA approved an amendment to raise the rate to $4.50. 

The amendment also permits the authority to finance certain projects with PFC revenue. 

The financial report said JAA has submitted and received approval to collect $363.46 million since inception through Nov. 1, 2024. 

Through Sept. 30, 2022, the JAA had collected, including interest earnings, PFCs totaling about $281.1 million. 

It has spent about $261.33 million of PFCs on projects funded on a pay-as-you-go basis and financing 

JAA CEO Mark VanLoh said in May that costs for Concourse B had risen to about $300 million. In 2021, JAA estimated the project could be $272 million to $275 million. 

The authority board is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 25 at the JAA administration building at 14201 Pecan Park Road near the airport.