Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla accompanied Aerostar Airport Holdings officials Thursday for the inauguration of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport’s Terminal B, after the completion of a yearlong, $130 million renovation.
The upgraded 150,000 square-foot terminal includes a new passenger inspection center, an automated baggage handling system previously unavailable at LMM, and 10 new jetbridges. The new terminal also houses seven new food and beverage concessions, as well as seven other retail shops and a bank.
“LMM is a key part of our strategic plan to develop tourism in Puerto Rico. It’s an important part of our commitments to improve and broaden the island’s hotel infrastructure, support medical, sports, and cultural tourism, and incentivize investment in Puerto Rico and create jobs,” said García-Padilla, following a walk-through of the new facilities.
Aerostar signed the lease contract to run LMM through a public-private partnership with the government on July 24, 2012, but didn’t close on the transaction until February 2013.
Under the deal, Aerostar agreed to pay the Puerto Rico Ports Authority 615 million upfront, plus annual payments of $2.5 million and 5 percent of annual gross revenues between years six and 30, rising to 10 percent of annual gross revenues from year 31 to year 40.
The company also agreed to make about $225 million in airport improvements. During the first phase of LMM’s overhaul, which ran from September 2013 to July 2014, Terminal D — which houses American Airlines — got a $24 million facelift.
Now, Aerostar will move on to pumping $75 million into renovating Terminal C, including the construction of a connector between B and C to D, which houses small commuter airlines. That project should be completed by the end of 2015. The improvements have meant the creation of some 2,900 direct and indirect jobs.