The Port of Pasco is getting a jumpstart on the Tri-Cities Airport terminal remodel with a sewer replacement project.
The Federal Aviation Administration won't give the port permission to use one of the proposed major funding sources for the once-in-a-generation remodel until construction is under way.
The sewer replacement project qualifies, Port of Pasco commissioners were told Thursday.
The port should hear back from the FAA on the request to use passenger facility charges from airline tickets to pay for part of the project before signing a construction contract on the full remodel project and selling bonds, port officials said.
Port commissioners have not decided yet to move forward on the $43.7 million terminal remodel, which would almost double the size of the terminal.
The project includes moving the staircase and restrooms to the front of the terminal building to open up the area near the security checkpoint. Security, ticketing and baggage areas also would be expanded. A new concourse beyond the security area would feature a view of the airfield, with gates to the right and left.
The sewer replacement project needs to happen whether the terminal expansion moves forward or not, said Jim Klindworth, the port commission's president.
Randy Hayden, the port's executive director, said the airport will be able to hook into the deeper gravity sewer that the city of Pasco has installed, getting rid of the airport's sewer lift station.
Commissioners unanimously approved a $386,000 contract with Bouten Construction Co. for the sewer project. That cost is included in the estimated $43.7 million cost of the remodel.
Port commissioners also unanimously approved a contract of up to $82,000 with Leibowitz & Horton Airport Management Consultants for the financial feasibility analysis the port will need in order to sell bonds for the project. Commissioners have not decided yet how much to bond.
Construction on the terminal remodel may start in July, Hayden said.
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