Federal Grant Secured For Airport Expansion | WAMC

Federal Grant Secured For Airport Expansion

Feb 23, 2021

The Burlington International Airport terminal is in line for a major expansion. Officials announced the renovation Monday.


The Burlington International Airport’s $14.5 million Terminal Integration Project is a 26,240 square-foot expansion that includes the consolidation of security checkpoints for greater efficiency and a more direct route between concourses.  
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat who is running for a fourth three-year term on Town Meeting Day March 2nd, said the airport is a critical institution for Northwestern Vermont and Burlington. He announced that with the help of Vermont’s Senior U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy a grant from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program has been secured to complete the project.  "We’re really excited to be making this announcement and it would not be possible to make it were we not successful with the leadership of Senator Patrick Leahy in securing a $14.5 million federal grant for this work. This was initially something that it was not at all clear would be funded. In fact it was given little chance of funding initially. But the Senator went to work on this and like so many other times he found a way.”  

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy is Pro Tem of the Senate and chair of the Appropriations Committee.  “This is not only an economic asset for the city, it’s for the whole state, the entire region. And of course we’ve put a lot of federal funds into improving the aprons and runways and all. Now I’ve got to tell you it’s a lot easier going through security in Burlington than a lot of the airports I go to. But at peak travel times it can still be just a tad lengthy. And I think this terminal improvement is going, I think people who are going to come to Vermont are going to say wow.”

In January the Burlington City Council approved the airport’s acceptance of the grant. Ward 6 Democrat Karen Paul calls the award a win for the community, the airport and travelers for years to come. “This announcement of a substantial and meaningful grant it really can’t be overstated in its importance to our airport as one of the region’s strongest economic assets. The priorities of this significant improvement grant are the efficiency, the ease of use for our passengers with one-stop TSA, combined with systems that lessen fossil fuel use will continue to keep the Burlington International Airport at the cutting edge of modern innovation technology.”

BETA is a company operating at the Burlington International Airport developing electric powered aircraft.  Founder Kyle Clark said the terminal expansion will help his and other businesses. “The airport and the terminal is the first impression that a recruit has when they come with their family and the last impression when they leave. It defines in some reflects the artwork, the people that greet you, the ambience of the terminal, the culture of the town. And to have a forward leaning thoughtful progressive terminal that’s fluid efficient and enjoyable to traverse through is again the first and last impression. And it’s how people will initially kind of walk into our business as we try to recruit them and their families to come to Vermont.”

Groundbreaking is planned for July. Construction is expected to take about a year and a half.