The new parking garage will be built on top of an existing surface lot and provide 2,000 new parking spaces as part of a larger terminal expansion.
Passengers departing Northeastern Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will soon have several thousand additional parking spaces. On Monday, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board took steps toward constructing a new $100 million parking garage and expanding the security checkpoints at revenue at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX).
The board voted 6-0 for a $10 million budget transfer to design a third parking garage to add around 2,000 spaces. The new facility will encompass six levels and sit adjacent to the existing daily garage on what is currently a surface parking lot. The facility is projected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024 or the first quarter of 2025.
The meeting also resulted in the board unanimously ratifying a $15 million award for continued work on the checkpoint renovation at the airport. The upgrades are both parts of an upcoming terminal expansion to add the six-gate Concourse B, expected to be completed in 2025. A spokesperson for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority highlighted the continuing investment in the community when contacted by Simple Flying:
“We are adding the parking garage to accommodate growth in the region and the return of passenger traffic similar to 2019, which was a record-breaking year for us.
“In concurrence with the parking garage, the Authority will simultaneously be constructing a third concourse at the airport, which will give us six additional gates.”
Photo: Jacksonville International Airport
New parking options across the airport
The newly approved budget transfer of $10 million will be used to start the creation of a capital project for the new parking garage project. Chief Operating Officer Tony Cugno presented the garage project to the board. The proposal outlines the new garage providing 1,600 parking spaces for the general public alongside an additional 400 spaces for rental cars. Construction funding for the $100 million project will be sought in fiscal 2024.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority also presented plans to create space to compensate for those displaced during the garage construction, which will continue as permanent additions to the airport. Recommendations include adding 500 spaces to the Economy I lot and repurposing the existing employee lot to provide 250 more public spaces and 250-300 valet spaces. Employees would then benefit from expanding and paving the existing Economy III lot by 1,200 spaces to provide 800 spaces for employees and 400 more for the public. This lot was previously used for the holidays and as overflow parking when necessary. In total, the project would boost total parking at Jacksonville airport to around 13,500 spaces.
The current daily parking garage is frequently full by early afternoon, and other parking lots are less accessible to the main terminal building. Local resident and frequent traveler through Jacksonville International Airport Bethany Hewett expressed her hopes the new parking garage would alleviate some of the current frustrations at the rapidly-expanding airport:
“The daily garage is usually packed to the roof by 1pm, and the free spaces indicator is not always accurate. There’s been a sign that said 20 spots were available on a level and there were none.
“Parking in economy is not always feasible either. I have found that the shuttles from economy don’t come on schedule and personally I would much rather cut out that part of the equation”
Photo: Jacksonville International Airport
Part of a more extensive expansion
The parking garage is the latest update in a series of passenger experience upgrades at the busy Florida airport which includes a brand new concourse. The upcoming Concourse B will feature six gates and a modern design similar to the two existing concourses, with an abundance of glass and natural light.
The airport has seen 18 consecutive months of year-over-year growth, and the new concourse will allow for expansion to 13 gates in the future if the need arises. Concourse B will also feature new concession options in an effort to showcase more local businesses.