POSTED: Friday, June 6, 2014 - 3:59pm
UPDATED: Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 11:18am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — It's been ten years since the City of Brownsville began working on the extension of the runway at the Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport; and officials may finally start seeing the fruits of their labor as soon as the end of the year.
"There's a true need for it because of the rapid growth of this airport," said Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport business development manager Michael Jones. "And everybody knows Brownsville's not going to stop growing, I mean, we're just getting started. So we'll need longer runways for heavy cargo planes with full loads."
But the runway isn't the only thing undergoing renovations at the airport. The Brownsville airport is getting an entirely new terminal:
"This terminal can't hold anymore people," said Jones. "I mean, we're out of ticket counters, we're out of waiting area, we have to build a new terminal. The new terminal will accommodate more gates, more flights, more airlines, to more places."
The terminal used now will become part of the tarmac.
The cost of building a new airport terminal is expected to be around $25 million dollars, and the cost of lengthening the runway will be several times that. And all this will be paid for by the tax dollars that each passenger spends per ticket, but all these renovations will be a huge benefit to the local economy."
"As the city's needs grow, of course, the city will hire more people to work in the airport, the airlines will hire more people to work for the airlines, the rent-a-car companies will hire more, the restaurant will be bigger, lots of jobs will create more jobs," Jones.
To put it all in perspective, airport officials picture it this way: one flight with 50 passengers produces more 200 jobs annually, contributes $22 million dollars into local economy, and creates more than $328,000 dollars in sales tax revenue, which is ultimately used to improve the airport.
The projected completion year for the new terminal and runway extension is 2016.