Huntsville International Airport opens new parking deck toll booth plaza

The Huntsville International Airport's $60 million terminal improvement plan has taken another step forward and more are around the corner.
airport-waiting-area-755d9b33efb10e1e_medium.jpgThe new parking deck toll booth plaza opened last week, the grand opening for the new public waiting area is next month and bids will be taken in March to expand the baggage claim area.

The new toll plaza has six lanes, compared to four in the former plaza, including four lanes that take credit cards. The new toll booth plaza is farther away from the parking garage exit, which helps relieve traffic congestion.

The contractor will begin demolition of the former tool booth plaza and continue changing the signs and street lights, Butch Roberts, the airport's deputy director, told the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority at its meeting this morning.

The airport will hold a grand opening on Jan. 14 for the new public waiting area, where friends and family can meet passengers without going through security. The grand opening will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be a chamber after hours event for area chambers of commerce.

Roberts told the board that bids are scheduled to be received in March for the baggage claim expansion.

In other business, commercial air passenger traffic decreased 1.2 percent in November compared to the previous November and rail cargo at the International Intermodal Center decreased 28 percent in November compared to November 2008, airport Executive Director Rick Tucker told the board.

Air cargo landing weights at the center decreased about 20 percent in October compared to the previous October, Tucker said.

On another matter, the authority approved tax abatements for Hangar Properties and Westwind Technologies for 10 years.

The action forgives Hangar Properties $784,000 in non-educational state and local property taxes over 10 years. The taxes are for an almost $14.3 million hangar that the company built in the Jetplex Industrial Park.

Westwind Technologies, which modifies and improves aircraft in the building, received $82,500 in non-educational property tax abatements over 10 years and a one-time abatement of $52,000 of sales tax. The abatements are for $1.5 million of equipment Westwind bought.

In other action, the authority elected William Johnston as chairman for 2010. He succeeds Mark McDaniel.
Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority
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