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Several improvement projects happening at Piedmont Triad International Airport

Officials with PTI Airport said there are several construction improvement projects underway to give the airport an upgrade.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Construction is underway on several improvement projects at the Piedmont Triad International (PTI) airport.

Kevin Baker, the executive director of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority said, he would divide the projects up as related to passengers and the other related to economic development.

"It’s just kind of the way things are around airports, especially here, we’re sort of wide-open with things going on that’s great, it’s the way we like to operate," Baker said. Having a lot of things going on at one time requires a lot of management obviously, that’s what we like to see happening. It’s a sign of growth."

Baker said PTI is in the early stages of modifying the airport concourses. He said they are original to the building and are roughly 40 years old. There are also plans to replace the terminal doors, bathrooms, and all six escalators. Baker said replacing the doors and escalators go hand in hand because, without the doors, they are able to get the large escalators into the building.

"There’s just a lot of things that can go wrong with an escalator, especially ones that (are) 40-years-old (...) and fixing them tends to be very cumbersome," Baker said.

The doors and escalators together will cost $4.2 million, while the bathrooms are estimated to cost around $2 million.

RELATED: A look into the history of PTI's growth

PTI is also rebuilding the older of its two parallel runways.

"Just like a road, over time, runways need to be repaired and it was time for a major fix to them," said Baker.

A new control tower has also been built, more than twice the height of the original tower built in the 1970s. Right now, the FAA is installing equipment that they will need to operate the tower. Baker said it should hopefully be operational near the end of 2022.

"Mainly the cabin of that tower wasn’t constructed or designed to be able to handle parallel runways because, at that time, we didn’t have the western parallel runway and so the configuration for the cabin didn’t allow for the controller to be able to see to the west very easily," Baker said. 

Boom Supersonic has also started work on its site at the airport. The company plans to bring more than 1700 jobs by 2030 to its new jet factory. 

"These are very important projects to the community," Baker added. "If you don’t have this kind of growth going on in your community well, you’re not growing. The airport is the center of employment in this community and the center of expertise in the aerospace industry that is really really valuable to this community."

Baker said Boom Supersonic is just the beginning of development at the airport. He said Boom is only taking 65 acres and the airport has 1000 acres available. 

RELATED: 10 things to know about Boom Supersonic

Baker said the airport's mission is to provide a great passenger experience but also be a place of employment for the Triad. 

"We strive to make sure that we are providing the best experience that we can and any improvement we ever make, it's always with that goal in mind with respect to the passenger."

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