Sunday, March 11, 2001

Airport needs expansion, Louisville told

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — Consultants drafting a 20-year master plan for the Louisville International Airport say the airport will have to grow — but a new airport is not affordable or necessary.

        The consultants, of PB Aviation Inc. of Virginia, said that any new facilities, such as terminal space, parking or hangers, can be accommodated by acquiring nearby commercial land. It won't be necessary to buy residential property, they said.

        The Regional Airport Authority has not adopted a long-range master plan since the late 1980s. Under that plan, more than 1,000 homes were eradicated in nearby neighborhoods to accommodate two new parallel runways.

        The consultants' findings “are obviously very positive,” said Louisville Board of Aldermen President Steve Magre.

        The consulting firm said the airport's terminal space will need to nearly double within 20 years, as will its 22 boarding gates. Parking will also need to be greatly expanded.

        But the firm predicted the airport won't need a third parallel runway, which could cost $1 billion, for at least 15 years.


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