Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Int’l Builds New Quick-Turn Facility for Rental Car Operations

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Int’l Builds New Quick-Turn Facility for Rental Car Operations
Nicole Nelson
Published in: 

After a long time coming, an updated quick turnaround facility for consolidated rental car operations at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP) became fully operational last fall.

“Now that we put it in place, the customer experience has just skyrocketed,” says Carl Beardsley Jr., executive director of the Pennsylvania airport. “It is so much better than it used to be.”

An $11 million project transformed a 2.68-acre plot of land that had been an eyesore for decades into a new support center for the six rental car companies that serve customers at AVP. Crews demolished an old car wash and built a quick turnaround facility with three wash bays (two automatic, one for hand washing) and six fueling positions containing three pumps – each with two hoses per rental car brand.


Project: Quick Turn-Around Consolidated Rental
Car Facility

Location: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PA) Int’l Airport

Owner/Operator: Luzerne & Lackawanna counties

Key Components: 10,580-sq.-ft. building; 2 automated car wash bays; 1 hand wash bay; 6 fueling positions; covered walkway

Footprint: 2.68 acres

Cost: $11 million

Project Duration: 2016 to 2023

Opening Date: Oct. 26, 2023

Owner/Developer: AVP QTA LLC; Conrac Solutions

Project Delivery Equity Financing: Provided by iCON Infrastructure; arranged by CS Capital

Facility Operator: Conrac Solutions Operators

Architect: PGAL

Design/Build: LR Costanzo Co.

Subcontractors: Ritsick Plumbing; Sproul Construction; Troy Mechanical; Urban Electrical

The 10,580-square-foot building was developed by Conrac Solutions, designed/planned by PGAL, and constructed by LR Costanzo to align aesthetically with the adjacent terminal. Operationally, there was an emphasis on increasing efficiency by decreasing turn times for processing vehicles.

Internal Purpose, External Care

Although the new facility is a back-of-house operation where crews receive vehicles and prep them for renting again, it still has public-facing features. Beardsley is especially proud of the paved walkway with a protective canopy that shields customers renting and returning vehicles from inclement weather.

 “We are definitely seeing improvements all around,” he remarks. “Our customers and the people who live in this area have never had a facility where they’re able to walk covered from the ready return lot all the way over to the terminal building. Until recently, it was unheard of here at AVP.”

Landscaping, another amenity the previous facility lacked, was added to improve the appearance of the new building. 

Worth the Wait

Executing the improvements took time—about eight years from initial explorations to the official opening in October 2023. Ultimately, the project was completed on budget with minor value engineering.

Not one to sugarcoat his words, Beardsley says the process was “definitely a struggle at times.”

Early discussions started in fall 2015, when Conrac Solutions approached AVP about enhancing fleet turnaround services for its on-airport rental car operators. By 2016, the airport commissioned the company to complete a feasibility plan, including project cost and scope. Site selection for the proposed design/build project was also set into motion.

Michael Minerva, chief executive officer of Conrac Solutions, notes that the AVP project had a long history with numerous steps, the timing of which was often out of his team’s control.

“There was an analysis of potential government funding for this project—or to subsidize it—and that didn’t happen,” Minerva explains. “Then COVID hit, and everything sort of stopped.”

At the height of the pandemic, labor and supply chain issues threw a wrench into the works.

“We had a tough time with gaining needed parts and having a sufficient amount of employees,” Beardsley explains. “Every time we thought we had everything taken care of, something else would pop up and hit us in the backside of the head. Nonetheless, it always came through.”

Wait times for long-lead items such as fueling equipment and car wash systems stretched even longer than usual due to the disconnected supply chain. “You just never knew what was going to happen next,” Beardsley recalls.

Components such as pumps, vacuums and even common electrical switch gear were particularly difficult to source. But PGAL Executive Vice President Jeff Weiner was impressed with the design-build contractor’s efforts to overcome prevalent supply shortages.

“LR Costanzo Company did a great job minimizing impacts, but some of the equipment needed were long-lead items, not like your traditional building materials,” says Weiner. “We were all faced with price increases as well as supply chain issues.”

Strong Finish

Once the sourcing issues were surmounted, momentum shifted and the project began moving quickly.

“We had a groundbreaking on Oct. 26th of 2022, and a ribbon cutting exactly a year later,” Minerva reports. “I give a lot of credit to Carl Beardsley and the airport board for shepherding this project through and never losing sight of the goal.”

The result is a rental car quick-turn center designed to withstand the test of time and blend with the surrounding AVP terminal. “This is definitely a utilitarian and service building, but it is done in the way that it should last decades with proper maintenance and care,” says Weiner.

Minerva commends Beardsley and the airport’s bi-county board (Luzerne and Lackawanna counties) for staying focused on the end result. “I know it took a lot of time, but once everybody decided to press Go, it moved very quickly and very efficiently through their governance process and through the construction phase,” he says.

Reciprocally, Beardsley commends Conrac Solutions, the airport board and other project partners for doing an excellent job working through multiple issues to bring the new car rental facility into service. “The design/build team that we worked with on this project were very positive and they were able to move along when we needed them to move along,” he remarks.

Move along they did, and now AVP’s quick turnaround facility stands as the product of their cooperation and performance.

“Stakeholder collaboration is always important just to get to a point to have a common-use facility where there is competition between companies,” Weiner explains. “What we were able to build at AVP is what was needed for the future."


2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement

Giving back to the community is central to what Charlotte Douglas International Airport and its operator, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department, is about, and last year was no different. 

Throughout 2022, while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued our efforts to have a positive impact on the Charlotte community. Of particular note, we spent the year sharing stories of how Connections Don't Just Happen at the Terminal - from creating homeownership and employment opportunities to supporting economic growth through small-business development and offering outreach programs to help residents understand the Airport better.

This whitepaper highlights the construction projects, initiatives, programs and events that validate Charlotte Douglas as a premier airport.

Download the whitepaper: 2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement.



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