Palm Springs Airport Expansion Plan to Cost $2.7b

Funding will rely on federal grants and bonds issued by the city repaid through airport revenues.

Source : Palm Springs International Airport

January 20, 2024

Author : Patty Allen

If you love visiting Palm Springs and experiencing what Coachella Valley has to offer, your travel is about to made much easier. Many visitors from far way fly into Coachella Valley, and with increasing traffic, the Palm Spring International Airport (PSP) will undergo a massive overhaul.

In 2023, PSP recorded 3.2 million passengers, which surpassed 2022’s record by almost 9%.

Palm Springs International Airport is set to undergo a significant transformation, with a comprehensive expansion plan estimated to cost $2.7 billion. This ambitious project aims to revamp the airport to meet the growing air travel demands to the Coachella Valley.

The proposed expansion includes the construction of two new concourses capable of accommodating four to eight aircraft simultaneously. These additions will effectively double the airport’s gate capacity. 

The first new concourse, planned for the northern side of the airport, will feature eight gates for narrow-body planes or four gates for larger, wide-body planes. The second concourse, replacing the current Regional Concourse (soon to be renamed the Agua Caliente Concourse), will add 19 gates to the south end of the property.

In addition to the concourses, the redevelopment plan encompasses a consolidated rental car facility north of the iconic Wexler building, which serves as the airport’s entrance. This building will be preserved and integrated into the expansion, connecting to the south terminal and offering enhanced facilities for ticketing, baggage claim, and other services.

This expansion, deemed necessary due to the quadrupling of passenger traffic since the 1980s and an anticipated doubling by 2042, emerged as the preferred option among four presented by an architecture firm. It was recently discussed at a Palm Springs Airport Commission meeting and is set for review by the city council.

The implementation of this large-scale project is expected to span approximately 20 years, with the airport remaining operational throughout. The construction will be divided into four stages, with the initial phase focusing on the northern terminal and rental car facility, projected to be completed in 3½ to five years.

The funding for this extensive project will rely on a combination of federal grants and bonds issued by the city to be repaid through airport revenues. Jake Ingrassia, an airport spokesperson, emphasized that city tax revenues would not be used as the airport operates financially independently of the city.

The plan’s environmental impact review is projected to take around 18 months, followed by approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Design work for the first phase could commence subsequently.

The expansion plan, preferred for its cost-effectiveness and minimal impact on operations, was chosen over another concept that proposed constructing new structures solely on the south side of the property. The commission favored the selected plan for its lower cost, traditional funding options, and shorter overall timeline, avoiding the need for a private partnership for funding and operations.

PSP will also be doubling the number of restaurants, opening the first duty-free store, and providing opportunities for local businesses.

Category : Federal Government Local Government Airports

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