A Brighter TUS… Arriving in 2017

With the goal of improving the passenger experience at Tucson International Airport (TUS), the Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors has approved a multi-phase terminal improvement project to expand the security checkpoint areas, open up more choices in the post-security area and improve critical infrastructure.

The Board approved a construction services agreement with Sundt Construction at its meeting on Wednesday, April 6. Construction is expected begin this June and be completed in November 2017.

“This project provides us with the opportunity to enhance the customer experience through improved space utilization,” said TAA President/CEO Bonnie Allin. “The larger security checkpoint allows for newer security technology and better passenger flow. The improved concessions will provide a greater variety of food and retail opportunities. This is going to take our airport to another level of excellence, and we’re excited to begin construction.”

Key elements of the project being called “A Brighter TUS” will take under-used space in the ticketing lobby and repurpose it for the expanded security checkpoints. This space will take advantage of windows and will open up the space to more natural light and views of the airfield. Meanwhile, the space on the concourses currently being used for checkpoints will be redesigned for retail shops, food and beverage outlets and other services, such as business centers and children’s play areas.

Majority funding for the multi-phased $28.3 million project comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) passenger facility charge program and the remainder from the Tucson Airport Authority. No tax dollars will be used to fund this multi-million dollar project.

To start off the construction and moving, two airlines will move their ticket counters. American Airlines will relocate to the far west end of the terminal. United Airlines will move from its current location to the far east end of the terminal. This will occur at the end of May.

Some of the phases for A Brighter TUS will overlap. Phase 1 of the project includes construction in the central terminal area. From June 2016 to October 2017, new concessionaire locations will be prepared. Old concessions and the Flybar will be demolished, including the stairway and escalators at the center gallery.

Phase 2 of A Brighter TUS focuses on the relocation of the security checkpoints. From June 2016 to February 2017, the security checkpoints for Concourse B will be relocated to the far west end of the terminal and will be expanded from three lanes to four, allowing for additional TSA equipment. Security checkpoints on Concourse A will be relocated and expanded from October 2016 to August 2017. These new expanded checkpoints will allow for better queuing and the passenger screening experience.

New composure areas will be created beyond the new checkpoints. These areas will provide seating and airside views for passengers after security. Space will also be included for a business center and children’s play area on each concourse beyond the composure area. New carpet and patterned terrazzo flooring will also be installed throughout the terminal and will capture the desert colors.

From the composure areas, passengers will be directed toward the ramp leading to the concourse, which will be developed to host new concessions.

Concession construction will be ongoing throughout the project, but is not expected to open up new concepts until construction is complete. Retail is expected to open in December 2017 while food and beverage should begin operating in January 2018.

While construction is ongoing, critical infrastructure will be upgraded to maintain the longevity of the terminal.

As construction progresses, we will have updates and more information posted to the Tucson International Airport’s website (flytucson.com) and social media.

For a gallery of project renderings for download and to stay up-to-date with construction updates, visit our “A Brighter TUS” page.