With international travel expected to increase over the next decade and a new fleet of airplanes coming on line, the Federal Aviation Administration is asking Massport to renovate Terminal E to accommodate the increase in passengers and larger aircrafts like the Airbus 380.
At a meeting last Tuesday, Massport officials briefed the community on the $30 million project. At the meeting Massport’s Jose Masso III said that the Terminal E project would trigger an additional $2.5 million in mitigation money that will paid to the East Boston Foundation.
“The money we contribute to the East Boston Foundation is based on projects we do at the airport,” said Masso. “We have met with local officials and they expressed their desire for Massport to continue supporting the foundation. We saw the Terminal E project as the perfect opportunity to continue to support the foundation. This project will translate into an additional $2.5 million in mitigation funds for the East Boston community over the next five years.”
The project is currently under environmental review with a public comment period ending on July 13.
The Massport board voted last year to approve the $30 million to create and/ or reconfigure approximately 130,000 square feet at Terminal E. The goal of the project is to provide the required services to accommodate the A380, the largest commercial airplane in service. The Terminal, which is the closest terminal to the community at Logan, will also be able to handle the 747-800 aircraft once the project is completed.
“These are quieter, more environmentally friendly aircraft that allows us to bring in more passengers with less flights,” said Massport’s Tom Enis. “Carriers are looking to larger aircraft so they can carry more passengers and cargo with greater fuel efficiency. For example, British Airways flies a Boeing 747-400 internationally with 299 passengers versus 469 on the A380 version they fly internationally. The wingspan and height of the A380 is the main reason for the project. The A380 is 79 feet high and 261 feet wide, while the 747 is 63 feet high and 211 feet wide.”
The Airbus A380 is currently the largest commercial aircraft in use and five international carriers that fly into Logan have either purchased or ordered A380 aircraft–Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, and Virgin Atlantic.
The Terminal E improvements, part of a $100 million program, will reconfigure three existing gates’ space to add two new jet bridges at each gate; add departure level holding rooms and deplaning areas as well as modify aircraft taxi lanes on the existing apron to fit the A380. The program will also include renovations of the existing Immigrations and Customs area at the west end of terminal; provide additional concession and support space; and add a third level for new airline clubs.
“International flights are
the largest growing sector at Logan, with one in five passengers traveling abroad,’’ said Massport CEO Thomas Glynn. “We need to do our part to keep up with the industry and our carriers’ needs. This project reflects our continued effort to improve infrastructure that helps grow the region’s economy, improve our customers’ experience, and be a good neighbor.’’
According to Massport the project would have a start date in late July and be completed by summer 2017.