NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville International Airport announced Sunday plans to renovate and expand the facility to meet the demands of Nashville’s ever-growing population.
The $1 billion project, titled BNA Vision, will expand parking, concourses and lobby areas while adding new gates, an international arrivals building, more federal security screening lanes and possibly an on-site hotel.
Airport officials said the expansion is in order to “accommodate the region’s booming population growth and meet the needs of the airport’s record-breaking passenger increases.”
The ambitious project is expected to be fully completed in five to seven years and will be among the most expensive in Nashville’s history.
“By 2035, the population of the Greater Nashville Area is expected to surpass 2.5 million people, and Nashville International Airport’s passenger traffic will grow from 12 million today to more than 20 million,” said Rob Wigington, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority president and CEO.
“We are experiencing this rapid growth firsthand as we set new air passenger records every week, month and year. The projects comprising our BNA Vision are designed to meet the demands of this growth and address everything from international travel, to improved security wait times to more gates, parking and ease of access– all with passenger safety and convenience in mind. We’re excited to share this vision and provide a glimpse of how BNA will transform over the next several years.”
Nashville International Airport has set passenger records for three consecutive years, with 12.2 million passengers for the 2016 fiscal year, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year.
June 2016 was the biggest single month in BNA history with 1.1 million passengers arriving and departing out of Nashville’s airport.
The first project scheduled to be completed is a new parking garage. It will add 2,000 parking spaces and should be finished in the fall of 2018.
The airport will also add more ticketing counters and additional baggage claims in addition to expanding concourses B and D, which will bring more gates, giving the potential to add more airlines, retail and dining options.
A spacious central entrance hall, called the Grand Ole Lobby, will be built, and will feature spacious views of the airfield and additional federal security screening lanes.
Nashville International Airport has recently experienced long, long security lines, beginning in March when the TSA didn’t have the staff to handle the abrupt increase in passengers.
A 200- to 300-room hotel on the grounds of the airport is potentially part of BNA’s long-term vision in order to provide travelers with easy and convenient lodging.
Plans also include rerouting a portion of Donelson Pike by shifting the road slightly to the east to improve traffic circulation and access to the terminal.
BNA is currently served by 12 airlines and offers 440 daily flights. Nashville International Airport provides nonstop air service to more than 50 destinations.
To learn more about the renovations, click here.