$220 million permit means Concourse B airport construction can take off

The groundbreaking event is scheduled May 10 for the six-gate addition at Jacksonville International Airport.

A site plan for Concourse B at Jacksonville International Airport.
A site plan for Concourse B at Jacksonville International Airport.
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With groundbreaking taking off May 10, the city issued a permit May 8 for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to build Concourse B at Jacksonville International Airport at a construction job cost of $220 million.

Balfour Beatty Construction LLC of Orlando is the construction manager at risk for the six-gate expansion that comprises a three-level, 186,733-square-foot project at 2400 Yankee Clipper Drive in North Jacksonville.

The concourse will comprise 118,000 square feet of second-floor space, a 20,000-square-foot mezzanine and ground-level enclosed space.  It will include more restaurants and amenities for passengers.

Completion is expected by the end of 2026.

In its role, Balfour Beatty oversees the project from design to construction completion with a guaranteed maximum price. 

The concourses

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 and can add another two to four gates when needed.

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

In January, the JAA anticipated July as the start date to launch construction of Concourse B.

A six-gate Concourse B is expected to be completed in 2025 at Jacksonville International Airport.

JAA CEO Mark VanLoh told authority board members Jan. 22 that final drawings were filed with the Jacksonville Building Inspection Division.

He said staff continued to work with the Federal Aviation Administration on the final approval of an environmental assessment.

“All construction and trade packages for the concourse have been bid, we’ve received the prices and the contractors are preparing the guaranteed maximum price,” VanLoh said.

JAA Director of External Affairs Michael Stewart said after that meeting that those prices will be shared when the authority starts to negotiate a guaranteed price.

Jacobs Engineering is the lead design engineer and Jacksonville-based RS&H Inc. is the subcontractor for the architectural portion.

Years in the making

The estimated $300 million Concourse B was expected to start construction in 2023 and then revised to the summer of 2024 for completion by the end of 2026.

When JAA opened Concourses A and C in 2008, it anticipated adding Concourse B in 2014-15.

That’s because the FAA recommends that airports prepare for expansion when they reach about 65% of terminal capacity, which happened at JAA in 2008.

Then came the Great Recession in 2008-09.

A record number of passengers traveled through Jacksonville International Airport in 2023, surpassing the mark set before the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacksonville International Airport

By 2018, JAA returned to 2007 traffic levels and resumed plans for Concourse B.

At that time, JAA was not required to perform an environmental assessment because the new concourse was the same footprint as the former Concourse B.

The 2020 pandemic created another delay, but by 2022, JAA realized the industry had recovered and resumed designing Concourse B.

But then, the FAA required a new environmental assessment, which began at the start of 2023 and was expected to take up to a year to complete.

In June-July, the FAA also realized the preliminary concourse design conflicted with two radar arrays of the radar system on the airfield, which led to a pause in the environmental assessment.

Stewart said Jan. 22 the JAA was awaiting the administration restarting the assessment, after which it has about five months to complete it.

He said in December the authority was working to put both studies on parallel tracks and JAA meets regularly with the FAA.

“We can request the permit review and probably order everything we need in the next few weeks or months, but we can’t put a shovel in the ground until they complete the environmental assessment,” he said.

An environmental review and permitting status is in process and scheduled for completion June 28, according to the federal infrastructure projects website.

Project costs

The JAA board voted March 27, 2023, to ratify contracts with Balfour Beatty Construction 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.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh

Stewart said in January that Phase 1 – the new checkpoint area – was substantially complete. All nine screening machines were in place.

Phase 2 is the bypass taxiway for aircraft. Planes have been parking in the area where Concourse B will be built, and that has to change for construction.

Phase 3 is the construction of Concourse B.

Stewart said those two phases will take place in tandem.

VanLoh said in May 2023 that costs for Concourse B had risen to about $300 million.

In 2021, JAA estimated the project could be $272 million to $275 million. 

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 a JAA committee report.

Groundbreaking set

The 9 a.m. May 10 groundbreaking is for the concourse, the bypass taxiway and an additional parking garage near the terminal within walking distance that will provide several thousand new parking spaces.

The third parking garage would add about 2,000 spaces among six levels next to the existing daily garage and is projected to cost about $100 million.

The event is scheduled to feature Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Greg Evans, JAA board Chair Michelle Barnett and U.S. Reps. Aaron Bean and John Rutherford.



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