Implementing the Wright Pact

Defining Love Field’s role in the Metroplex is driven by the five-party agreement.

Says Weber, “We are obligated to go to 20 gates from the current 32. That will involve demolition of portions of the facility and reconstruction of other portions. The direction we’re going in our planning is to have an option where we phase in a whole new concourse, consolidate all gates into one concourse, and the existing concourses would ultimately be demolished.

“Then there will be relocation and expansion of the ticket hall; and inbound and outbound baggage systems will be redesigned with an inline system. It will effectively be a new concourse and a redeveloped main terminal.

“Concessions will be incorporated into the new configuration, however that turns out.”

It also requires acquisition of the now vacant Legend Terminal, built in the ‘90s by start-up Legend Airlines. Its six gates will be removed. What will happen with the facility and leasehold remains uncertain until the airport can purchase it — held up because of legal challenges. “The issue is the negotiation for the acquisition,” comments Weber.

Connecting to the DART rail system will require tunneling under the airport to install the people mover. Love Field is currently conducting a feasibility study. “DART is currently in a program developing lines to the various different parts of the Metroplex; one of those lines runs alongside Love Field. And we then will have access to DFW, ultimately connecting the two airports,” says Weber.

He and his staff are focused on putting in the elements, step by step, to get the modernization program underway. The PFC was one step; the Legend Terminal resolution is another; and, the others are moving along the studies for the terminal and rail connection.

“The program isn’t really specified other than the fact that it modifies the terminal to conform with the requirements of both the agreement and the act, which is to reduce capacity at the terminal to 20 gates,” he explains. “Beyond that it only speaks in terms of cost magnitude.

“The issue is the phaseout of the Wright Amendment restrictions, which is completed in 2014. So that is our timeline to get these improvements in place.”

“So that’s been the focus of our past year — working out the issues; developing the approach to that project.”

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