Daytona Beach, FL - Sometime next year, the county's biggest airport will have a brand new look.
Earlier today (April 16th), the Volusia County Council voted unanimously to approve a makeover to the terminal of Daytona Beach International Airport.
"This has been going on for about four years," said Rick Karl, the Director of Aviation and Economic Resources at DBIA. "It's been a long process but it's really very exciting."
The project will be handled by the Daytona Beach-based construction company, A.M. Weigel Construction Inc., the same company that built the terminal in October of 1992.
"It's come full circle," said Mike Weigel, owner of A.M. Weigel. "It's really really rare, in my opinion, to be as old as I am and to be able to come around and do the major remodel."
According to Karen Feaster, the Deputy Airport Director, the renovation will bring a couple of modern advancements to the airport, such as seating with charging stations in the terminal, a complimentary business center and a "mother's room."
Lighting and some indoor terminal construction will also be changed under the theme "coastal ecology."
And while passenger convenience is one of their goals, they're also looking to make it easier for other airlines to come to Daytona.
Feaster said that the project will include the addition of common-use systems, which will hopefully bring down start-up costs for airlines wanting to fly from the World's Most Famous Beach.
"It's almost like a plug and play for the airlines," said Feaster. "They can come in and save on all of their infrastructure costs. They just log right in and they're in their own system."
These types of systems can be found at larger airports, such as Orlando International Airport, where passengers can select their airline and check-in from the kiosk.
All together, Feaster said that the project will cost $14 million. $2.04 million of that will come out of the airport's enterprise fund, which is the airport's revenue generated off of rental cars, concession sales and tenant fees.
Another $364,000 will come from a rental car fund from the airport, and a $12.9 million county loan.
Construction is slated to begin in June and end sometime late next year. The construction will also not interfere with any of the airport's operations.
AIRPORT TRAFFIC DOWN IN FEBRUARY, UP IN MARCH
A report from Daytona Beach International Airport shows that the airport's passenger traffic took a hit in February.
In comparison to the same month last year, DBIA's passenger traffic in February decreased by 6%. During that month, 53,295 passengers flew out of DBIA, compared to the 56,684 from last year.
"February marked the first month in over a year with a decrease in passenger traffic from the previous year," said Karl. "However, February passenger traffic is still up over 10% since 2015, and commercial flight activity and non-stop destinations served reached a 20-year high."
But, on the inverse, March's traffic went up at DBIA.
According to the airport's report, compared to March of 2018, traffic increased by 3.2%.
During March, 75,724 passengers flew in and out of Daytona, compared to the 72,957 from March last year.
For 12 months ending on March 31st, total passenger traffic in Daytona Beach grew 5.3% with 724,765 passengers traveling through the facility last year compared to this year's 763,248 passengers.
That service was originally scheduled to run until the end of summer, but American has since decided to extend the service to the end of November.