WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Wilmington International Airport Authority met Wednesday night to discuss the details and costs associated with expansion.
According to the authority, the number of incoming passengers at ILM has more than doubled in the airport’s 27-year history. They also said those large numbers are beginning to strain the existing terminal and parking structures.
The Airport Authority hopes to expand the terminal by 200,000 square-feet and add two new parking garages to accommodate the increased demand.
The projected cost of the entire project is $88 million, but the airport says they will only match $3 million along with $33 million in federal commitments, leaving a $52 million gap.
The group unanimously voted Wednesday night to bring in a consultant that will help determine how to fill that gap.
Airport Authority Chairmen Thomas Wolfe said the consultants will help keep the burden off taxpayers.
“That’s very, very important because we don’t want to burden our citizens of New Hanover County,” Wolfe said. “This is a self sufficient airport, and we don’t get any funds from the county for our operating. So we want to be self sufficient and have a nest egg when we start this.”
Wolfe added the group will not only help fill the gap, but will aid in creating a timeline for the expansion.
The authority has narrowed down their search for a consultant group and will now begin the negotiation process with those groups.
Other issues on the agenda included renewing a parking contracts and reviewing the December budget.