Construction Underway for LVIA’s Multi-Modal Transportation Center
By Colin McEvoy on January 6, 2017
Construction is underway on the Lehigh Valley International Airport’s (LVIA) Multi-Modal Transportation Center, which is expected to open in the summer of 2017, enhancing the customer experience at the Hanover Township, Lehigh County airport.
“We are hoping the Multi-Modal facility becomes a transportation hub within the Lehigh Valley, while also giving air travelers from outside the region accessibility to our airport,” said Charles Everett, Executive Director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
The new center will provide passengers with improvements like reduced walking distances to rental cars from the terminal, weather protected walkways, designated areas for bus services from LANTA and Trans Bridge Lines Inc., and improved safety by eliminating passenger/vehicle conflict points.
The first phase of the $5 million construction project has begun with the demolition of Building 10, located just east of the airport’s main terminal. The building impedes a clear sight-line to the rental car operations.
“Upon removal of Building 10, passengers and rental car customers can enjoy a reduction of 700 feet from counter to vehicle,” Everett said. Building 10 built in 1965 and used as a firehouse and later as a maintenance facility.
The Multi-Modal Transportation Center will double existing taxi stands, create seven bus slips and a bus loop for LANTA and TransBridge, and provide weather protection for passengers awaiting their vehicles, according to LVIA.
“The design of this facility certainly focused on the customer experience and helps LVIA remain competitive with other regional airports,” said Ryan Meyer, Director of Planning and Programming with LNAA.
The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors awarded a $5 million contract bid to Emmaus-based Wilmer R. Schultz, Inc. in August 2016. Funding for the project includes a $1.75 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
LVIA plays a major role in regional economic development. The aviation industry employs more than 100,000 people in the United States and contributes $10.8 billion to the national economy, including $5.5 billion for airport management and operations, and $5.3 billion for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.
An example of the latter category includes Safran subsidiary Messier-Buggati-Dotwy, a French multi-national aircraft landing and braking systems company, which last year established a wheel and brake repair facility in Lower Nazareth Township. This provides services for such commercial airline brands as Boeing, Airbus, and JetBlue.
“They were able to locate here in part because of the airport,” said Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing. “The growth of MRO projects like this are dependent on domestic and international travel. Availability of hangar space at LVIA also positions the region well for attracting that kind of operation.”
Allegiant Air, American, Delta, and United have 10 nonstop destinations to both leisure destinations and major airline hubs with connections to the world. LVIA’s nonstop destinations include: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Newark, Orlando, Punta Gorda, and Tampa Bay.
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