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Ports Authority drawing up $10.1M remodeling plan for Aguadilla airport terminal

Looking to “significantly improve the traveler experience,” the Puerto Rico Ports Authority is working on the design of a $10.1 million remodeling of the Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla’s passenger terminal, agency Executive Director Joel A. Pizá-Batiz announced.

The design of the improvements is being carried out by MGA Consultant, which Ports contracted to optimize the installation for civil use, since it was originally built for military use, he said.

“The Rafael Hernández passenger terminal improvement project pursues three main objectives: improve the traveler experience; improve circulation, vehicular traffic and passenger flow; and rehabilitate the terminal’s roof waterproofing system,” said Pizá-Batiz, noting that the waterproofing is needed to repair damage from Hurricane María.

“This is in addition to and in support of the project to replace the current airport runway, whose useful life is coming to an end, and to maximize the great potential of this facility for the future,” he said.

To improve the traveler’s experience, the agency plans to:

  • Install three jet bridges will to protect passengers from inclement weather;
  • Build a mezzanine with a larger boarding room to connect the bridges to the terminal building;
  • Develop areas to accommodate food and convenience concessions;
  • Install new baggage claim belts with protection for multiple flights (in case of a breakdown, to have two);
  • Build a canopy, or pavilion, to provide shelter outside of the terminal;
  • Improve the traffic flow to drop off and pick up passengers;
  • Improve signage and passenger paging” system;
  • Install new furniture for passengers; and,
  • Remodel the bathrooms.

“To improve the circulation, traffic and passenger flow, the traffic will be segregated at the two ends of the building, separating the traffic of passengers arriving from a flight from those that transit to the waiting room to board a flight,” Pizá-Batiz said.

“The interior layout of the building will be redesigned by relocating the checkpoint, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection areas, and some offices to improve passenger flow the boarding area, and during the arrival to the street,” he said.

“Our commitment to expanding the Aguadilla International Airport terminal and installing jet bridges for the first time is our priority. Plans are already being worked on. We will be taking the necessary steps to secure the funds, so that this becomes a reality very soon,” Pizá-Batiz said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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