Monterey Regional Airport Sets Sights on New Air Terminal, Aircraft Apron

June 13, 2024

MONTEREY – With its long-term parking lot newly moved and set to begin accommodating cars Friday at 3 a.m., Monterey Regional Airport can now set its sights firmly on the construction of a new air terminal and adjacent apron.

Monterey Regional Airport Executive Director Mike La Pier said now that the long-term parking lot has been relocated, workers will start to demolish the old parking area, take care of drainage issues and excavate the site in preparation for the footprint for the new terminal building as well as an adjacent aircraft parking apron.

The new terminal is in the design phase of development, then it goes to construction drawings which should be done by the end of the year, and then it can go out to bid, said La Pier.

The newly relocated long-term parking lot entrance is positioned immediately before the airport’s existing long-term lot entrance. The relocated lot will offer the same number of parking spaces, and travelers will walk the same number of steps along a marked pathway between the relocated lot and the existing terminal building.

Relocating the long-term lot is one of several facility and operational changes – including a replacement terminal building – that airport users will experience as they travel through Monterey Regional Airport over the next few years.

La Pier added that the Monterey Regional Airport is committed to remaining easy, convenient and hassle-free for departing and arriving travelers, and thanks the public for its patience during construction.

Workers have already moved 108,000-cubic-yards of earth of the total 148,000 that needs to be moved out of the old parking lot, said La Pier. Then the footprint for the new terminal building and its corresponding apron to accommodate aircraft can be established. Once the soil is moved, paving for the apron will begin as well as work on utilities.

For more than 25 years, the Monterey airport says it has shoe-horned terminal operations into limited, inefficient space in the existing terminal building which is not designed to support many of today’s aviation-required regulations.

The vision for the new terminal includes a commitment to sustainability, aiming to achieve the highest green building standards, according to La Pier. This involves integrating quality, sustainable materials and selecting finishes that capture the charm and beauty of the Monterey region, with a specific emphasis on durability and ease of maintenance.

HOK Group Inc., a design, architecture, engineering and urban planning firm out of St. Louis, was selected by the Monterey Airport District Board as the architect for the replacement terminal project. The firm was founded in 1955 and has numerous award-winning airport designs under its belt.

In July 2023, public visioning workshops were conducted and the architectural team from HOK acknowledged the need for a redesigned terminal focused on ensuring Monterey Regional Airport remains traveler-friendly while incorporating accessible and inclusive features for all passengers. The goal is to enhance navigation and queuing, starting from parking and the curb front and extending seamlessly through aircraft boarding.

About a month ago, the Monterey Peninsula Airport District Board received a presentation on the design of the terminal including building character through panelization, materials and finishes, as well as the progress on its interior design.

“I think the design represents the community well,” said La Pier.

In March, HOK Group posted an update on its website saying the Monterey airport will be a new five-gate terminal replacing the current outdated facility. The single-level layout promotes accessibility and easy wayfinding. An apron level below will support airport, airline and maintenance staff. The project will include the airport’s first passenger boarding bridges so travelers can easily access planes in any weather.

The nature-inspired design features a pre-security garden plaza with native landscaping. From the garden, a glass wall offers views into the terminal’s post-security central plaza, which features a center bar for dining and various seating options. A post-security outdoor terrace showcases the region’s scenic beauty and mild climate.

“The Monterey Peninsula Airport District sought a beautiful and cost-effective design that expresses the beauty of Monterey,” said Bart van Vliet, project manager in HOK’s San Francisco studio, in the update. “We’re collaborating with them to create an innovative terminal that wows and welcomes passengers to Monterey.”

HOK says the project team is also upgrading long- and short-term passenger parking facilities, as well as improving the access roads leading to the airport. The plan includes creating space to accommodate two more aircraft for overnight parking. The airport also can use this extra space for additional ground boarding when the five gates are at capacity.

The new terminal is targeting LEED Platinum certification and net-zero energy readiness. The airport will remain operational during construction, which is set to begin in 2025.

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