Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) has received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its upcoming 15,200-square foot commercial terminal expansion. The $12,163,252 multi-year grant, the largest received by the Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA), will be distributed over a two-year period, in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020.
GNV’s CEO Allan Penksa said the grant will make it possible to continue to meet its passengers’ desire for convenience and ease of travel at the growing North Central Florida airport. Providing an expanded terminal with two additional gates and enhanced customer amenities is just one more way the airport has been able to respond to its customers’ needs with convenience and variety.
“GNV is very grateful for the awarding of this generous grant, the largest ever received by the Airport Authority” Mr. Penksa said. “The FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grant will allow us to expand in ways beneficial to our flying public by adding two gates to better accommodate larger aircraft now in service and increasing flight frequency.”
The expanded terminal will provide a variety of passenger amenities and services to accommodate increased passenger traffic and demand. New amenities will include expanded restrooms, a second food and beverage area, mother’s lactation room, prayer/reflection room, possible child’s play area and an outdoor pet relief area.”
The grant is the latest in a series of improvements at the airport. In the last year alone, GNV has been able to respond to its customer base by adding nonstop service to its fourth hub, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); a second TSA screening lane and TSA Pre✓ on every flight, along with increased parking capacity. American Airlines recently announced they will start using 63-seat regional jets on some flights to its largest hub of DFW on Dec. 18, in time for the holidays. In addition to increased seating capacity, the CRJ-700 aircraft features First Class and Main Cabin Extra (six inches more legroom and easier access to overhead bin space) along with Main Cabin seating.
“Through our two airlines and four international hubs, GNV passengers can now access 343 destinations in 55 countries across the globe in just one stop. The airport improvements and increased seating capacity is just one more benefit to our passengers who make the best use of their precious time by Flying Easy from GNV,” Mr. Penksa stated.
GNV has seen a steady increase in traffic this year, so having an expanded terminal and more capacity on flights is welcome news. By the end of August, year-to-date traffic at GNV was up 18 percent.
“With air traffic at record levels, more capacity is needed, and new business, industry, and population growth will only add to the needs for additional flights and routes,” Mr. Penksa added. “We are always in conversations with existing and potential carriers for increased service. It’s wonderful to be able to tell them about so many positive developments at GNV.”
GNV’s grant is part of the fifth allotment of a total of $3.18 billion in AIP funding for airports across the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao states the AIP grants, which airports receive based on activity levels and project needs, are investments for the American people who depend on reliable infrastructure at our nation’s 3,332 airports. The FAA says improving airport infrastructure in the United States “supports our economic competitiveness and improves quality of life.”
According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for approximately $1.6 trillion in our economy and 11 million jobs.