b'TERMINALSCSG 51Renovations at Columbus Airport Deliver Like-New Terminal BY PAUL NOLANIf a commercial building fails to keep pace with changesreally matter, explains Brian Thompson, a in its industry, it affects everyone who uses itcustomers,senior aviation engineer at RS&H, the firm employees and third-party partners. This is especially truethat completed the terminal assessment and in the ever-evolving airport sector.served as design builder for the subsequent Columbus Airport (CSG) in western Georgia has lived both sidesrenovation. The systems were not right-sized. of that coin. After three decades of continual use and no budgetThe building was cold in the winter and hot in for regular updates, the terminals outdated layout and failingthe summer due to air leakage.infrastructure were negatively impacting everyones experience.The terminal was designed prior to theBRIAN THOMPSONThere were plumbing issues, leaks in theera of TSA baggage screening and security roof, mechanical issuesone of our baggagecheckpoints. Space and equipment for required TSA functions belts wasnt even operable, says Airportwere retrofitted to available space within the terminal, but resulted Director Amber Clark, thankful that thosein poor adjacencies that disrupted daily operations of the terminal. problems and others are now in the past. This slowed the flow of baggage and employees operating around these areas.Last fall, CSG unveiled a completely renovated terminal that feels like a newThe terminal assessment determined that while the airport for passengers and staff alike. TheAMBER CLARK facility needed extensive work, the bones of the two-story, $20.8 million improvement program upgraded the facilities inside71,162-square-foot structure were good. In other words, the and outfrom an exterior canopy to new boarding bridges andfootprint of the building still served CSGs needs for commercial practically everything in between.flights and its thriving general aviation traffic. Don Cook, chairman of the Columbus Airport Commission,The design developed by RS&H encompassed a lengthy list of describes the newly renovated CSG as a hometown airport thatupgrades:has large airport amenities with a personal touch.A remodeled ticketing area is now outfitted with new ticket The comprehensive renovation program that made it all possiblecounters and integrated baggage screening.was based on a 2017 terminal assessment study that indicatedThe second floor, which previously served as a boarding area major changes were needed to make CSG a 21st century facilityonly accessible to screened passengers, was remodeled and befitting the second-largest city in Georgia. For years, the airportconverted for use by passengers and visitors alike. The new had commercial service from just one commercial carrier, Delta Airlandside area includes additional seating, along with rocking Lines. Last fall, however, American Airlines started two daily flightschairs, a childrens play area and new restrooms.from CSG to Charlotte and daily service to Dallas. Airport officialsThe renovated lobby and holdrooms include bar-height expect the additional service to increase traffic from 100,000counters with seating for guests using laptops.annual enplanements pre-COVID to somewhere between 150,000The boarding area was moved to the first floor, and two new and 175,000 by 2023. boarding bridges were added.Clark notes that the renovation helped CSGs effort to recruitThe single-lane TSA checkpoint previously saddled with age-American Airlines last year. Airport personnel kept Americanrelated inefficiencies was relocated and expanded. Passengers representatives updated on the project and accommodated thenow have more room to line up, and there is enough space to airlines requests for additional storage space, an additional officeadd a second screening machine and another belt if passenger and preferences regarding paint and carpeting. growth warrants.An airline wants to ensure their customer experience is the An automated security breach system with sliding glass doors best by making sure the terminal ticketing spaces and otherwas installed adjacent to the TSA checkpoint to prevent accommodations meet their needs, she elaborates. They want toarriving passengers from re-entering the secure area. Prior to work with airports that have the latest technology to help them withrenovations, a member of the CSG Public Safety Department on-time performance. had to manually guard the area anytime the TSA checkpoint was in operation.Good Bones A fully automated baggage handling system now connects the More passengers amplified the existing need to update CSGs agingticketing area to the baggage screening checkpoint. Previously, terminal facilities.passengers who checked their bags had to carry them down to a separate door and hand them off to TSA personnel, who The airport deferred a lot of maintenance on a terminal thatthen manually fed them through the screening system.was designed when energy was cheap and efficiency didnt AirportImprovement.comMarch | April 2022'