A design charrette for the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix came along with some positive news that both the territory’s airports were placed ahead of states to receive funding from the federal government for their redevelopment following the 2017 storms.
That’s according to Virgin Islands Port Authority Director David Mapp, speaking at the St. Croix airport’s terminal cruise lounge to a packed audience during the charrette on Tuesday evening. He said the U.S. Department of Transportation, whose arms include the Federal Aviation Administration, had set aside $1 billion for U.S. states and territories affected by disasters.
Mr. Mapp told The Consortium that it would cost $130 million for the redesign of the St. Croix airport, however, he did not give a timeline for completion. Instead, he said the redesign effort would be a balancing act of maintaining operations while work is performed.
Asked whether he was certain that the territory would receive the funding (the Cyril E. King Airport redesign costs an estimated $230 million), Mr. Mapp said, “I think with the money being available and us being number 1 to get it, I”m pretty sure we’re going to get it.”
The territory has to submit its proposal to the Department of Transportation by October 31, according to Mr. Mapp. It will be competing with Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico for a portion of the $1 billion. “We have the highest priority is what we were told, and we don’t want a whole building, that’s the answer,” Mr. Mapp added.
Mr. Mapp said the redesign would take into consideration the recommendations of residents.
According to the pamphlet provided, the current redesign plan includes the following:
⇒ Redesign, expansion and modernization of the interior of the terminal
Addition of a second level
Integration of jet bridges
Increasing of concession/retail space
⇒ Revitalization flow between compartments
Improvement of passenger flow
Expansion of baggage handling
The design also includes the incorporation of tropical landscape and improvements to assist with the flow of vehicular traffic, among them a plan to reposition pay kiosks. Solar energy will also play a big role in powering the redesigned airport.
Mr. Mapp said the redesign, once completed, would increase airport traffic by 50 percent.
Source: The Virgin Islands Consortium