Philadelphia Airport receives $2 million funding for aircraft parking apron

By constructing the new apron, Philadelphia Airport will be able to ensure the more efficient use of terminal gates and smoother airline operations.

Philadelphia Airport receives $2 million funding for aircraft parking apron

Credit: Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has received $2 million in funding from the state of Pennsylvania for a project to construct an aircraft parking apron that would be capable of accommodating up to eight planes. The $31.9 million project is expected to be complete in June 2022.

“The addition of this aircraft parking apron provides more space for aircraft to park at PHL in lieu of the parking positions at the terminals,” said Philadelphia Airport’s Chief Operating Officer, Keith Brune. “This allows for the more efficient use of the terminal gates, which in turn helps airline operations to run smoother.”

In addition, the proposed apron is the first of several enabling projects that will allow for the expansion of cargo operations at Philadelphia Airport as part of the proposed West Cargo Development.

The funding comes from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), a state grant programme administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

“Grant funding is always vital in enabling us to proceed with projects to keep PHL operating efficiently, but, in these challenging times, they are even more important,” Brune said. “We are grateful to our Pennsylvania state elected officials for their efforts in helping us to secure this funding.”

The proposed apron will be located on the northwest corner of the existing airfield, next to the FedEx facilities in Cargo City and on the former site of the USPS facility that was demolished in 2018. The project also includes the relocation of the fence around the airfield, stormwater management basins and high-mast lighting. A portion of the constructed pavement will also be used as parking for deicing trucks.

The apron will be lit by six high-mast light poles, and electrical infrastructure will be installed to accommodate aircraft. Security cameras will also be installed at various locations around the apron, as well as storm pipes, basins and oil-water separators for stormwater management.

The project also calls for ultra-lightweight foam glass aggregate in the construction of the embankment for the apron. The use of this material is intended to mitigate the expected consolidation of the underlying soils at the site, which is typically experienced from the additional weight of the pavement structure and fill material used to construct the apron. The use of this material at Philadelphia Airport is a first, and was chosen to minimise the construction time for the project. Typical construction methods used to address the consolidation of soils would add a minimum of six months to the construction schedule.

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