New garage to provide winter cover at airport

Dayton International Airports $25.7 million, three-level parking garage, scheduled to open next month, will have external landscaping and fountains, heated ramps to combat winter icing, and schoolchildrens artwork to decorate the stairwells.
Perhaps of greatest interest to travelers, it will be just a short walk from the terminal building at an airport that has long used the slogan easy to and through.

More than 1.2 million people boarded flights at Dayton in 2009. Typically, about 60 percent of the airports passengers are business travelers. Dayton has direct service to key business destinations including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Toronto.

City officials said the garage is a response to travelers who have told airport managers over the years that they would like to have a covered parking facility.

A lot of the stuff we get turns into projects, said Walter Krygowski, Daytons interim director of aviation. He has been among the clipboard-toting managers who survey air travelers about what the airport needs.

The contractor, Barton Malow Co., expects to have the garage ready for opening during the first half of July.

Heating coils have been installed under the garage ramps. Fountains are to be installed on both sides of the entrance. Paintings by students from 22 area schools, preserved by protective coverings, will be installed along stairwell handrails.

It is among the first major projects at the airport to open from among $156 million in new construction begun in recent years. New or renovated restaurants and concourse stores have opened, also in response to passenger survey results.

The Federal Aviation Administration could commission its new air traffic control tower at Dayton International this fall. No date has been set while testing continues, the FAA said last week.

Under way are projects to renovate the ticketing lobby, extend the terminal building, install new video security equipment, relocate baggage screening machines from the ticketing lobby to behind the wall and add two lanes to the current four security checkpoint lanes. With the removal of the screening machines, about 2,750 square feet of space will be restored to the lobby, airport officials said.

Along with the checkpoint expansion, whole-body scanners are to be installed to help speed security processing, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. The date of the machines arrival is to be determined, said John Kennedy, the TSAs federal security director at the airport.

Kennedy said he is hoping the revamped security checkpoint could be up and running by the Thanksgiving travel season.

After all the construction is done, airport management will turn its attention to new carpeting and other finishing touches, Krygowski said.
Barton Malow
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