July 31, 2016

Nashville Post

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Sunday announced an approximately $1 billion multiple element project for Nashville International Airport that will include an International Arrivals Building, increased federal security screening lanes and a possible on-site hotel.

To be called BNA Vision, the comprehensive plan also includes expanding parking, concourses and lobby areas, and adding new gates, according to a release. The plan will enable BNA to accommodate the airport’s record-breaking passenger increases and a metropolitan statistical area population that is currently about 1.8 million and is expected to hit 2.5 million by 2035.

BNA Vision (click on View Gallery in the above images to see additional renderings) will be phased in spanning the next five to seven years. Funding will come from bonds, federal and state aviation grants, passenger facility charges (PFCs) and other airport funds. As with other airport capital improvement projects, no local tax dollars will be used.

“By 2035, Nashville International Airport’s passenger traffic will grow from 12 million today to more than 20 million,” Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO, said in the release. “We are experiencing this rapid growth firsthand as we set new air passenger records every week, month and year. The projects comprising our BNA Vision are designed to meet the demands of this growth and address everything from international travel, to improved security wait times to more gates, parking and ease of access — all with passenger safety and convenience in mind.”

Nashville International Airport has set passenger records for three consecutive years. In the just completed fiscal yea, BNA surpassed 12.2 million passengers, a nearly 10 percent increase over the number of the previous fiscal year. June 2016 was the single most significant month in BNA history with 1.1 million passengers arriving at and departing from the airport.

“With Nashville’s current growth trajectory, the Airport Authority is planning ahead to ensure we continue providing first-rate customer service and top-notch transportation facilities for our region,” Bobby Joslin, MNAA Board of Commissioners chair, said in the release. “BNA Vision is a dynamic plan that will transform Nashville International Airport and impact our region’s growth and reputation. This is an exciting time, and together, the future of the airport, like Nashville itself, is limitless.”

BNA Vision represents an acceleration and expansion of MNAA’s Master Plan, a comprehensive strategy last updated in 2013.

Preliminary plans for BNA Vision include the following:

* Construction, currently underway of a six-story 2,000-space parking garage located south of the existing Short Term Garage. (Estimated completion: fall 2018);

* Construction of an International Arrivals Building to accommodate the increase of international travelers and to attract nonstop flights to Europe, Asia and Latin America(Estimated completion: 2018);

* Expansion of the ticketing and baggage claim areas, with additional ticketing counters at the North and South ends of the terminal building;

* Expansion of Concourses B and D to increase capacity to attract new airlines and services, and new retail and dining offerings;

* Construction of the Grand Ole Lobby, a “spacious central entrance hall that will warmly welcome travelers with natural light and compelling airfield views;

* Potential for multi-modal transit to link BNA to future Nashville transit system;

* Construction of a 200- to 300-room hotel; and

* The relocation of Donelson Pike, which an orientation shift slightly to the east to improve traffic circulation and terminal access.

BNA is served by 12 airlines and offers 440 daily flights and nonstop service to more than 50 destinations.