“Our city is booming and the new BNA design will reflect the best of Music City, taking our travel opportunities to new heights,” said country music singer Dierks Bentley, a Nashville Airport Authority board member, in a promotional video.
USA Today reports city leaders revealed plans for the $1.2 billion expansion of Nashville International Airport that will include a new on-site 288 room hotel, an expansion of Concourse D, 2,000 more parking spaces, new office building and a revamped terminal and plaza.
Nashville's airport has seen an 11.2 percent rise in passengers in 2016, to 13.5 million people, making it the fastest growing airport of its size in the country. In 2015, Tennessee’s $18 billion tourism industry generated $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, with Davidson County benefiting from $5.7 billion in spending.
Earlier this year, Britsh Airways said it will begin non-stop flights to Nashville from London beginning in May 2018.. Expansion plans call for upgrades to the existing international traveler area to handle BA passengers before the new facility opens.
Other improvements include increasing security lanes to a total of 14 and adding ticket counters at the north and south ends of the terminal. A light rail drop off point is planned to accommadate a proposed transit plan for the city.
The 'BNA Vision' overhaul' announced in 2016 will anchor the revamped terminal and plaza, featuring natural light and a design nod to the shape of an acoustic guitar.
The airport authority’s board of commissioners is paying for the project almost entirely from bonds that it will issue. Airport officials are stressing that no local tax dollars will be used.
To date, about $90 million toward the overhaul has already been awarded through contracts with another $80 million on tap for over the next six months. The project is expected to be finished in 2023.
The official unveiling of the airport expansion is this coming Friday.