The San Antonio City Council on Thursday approved the first major contract for work to start on the 20-year, $2.5 billion airport improvement plan.

The council voted unanimously to hire global architecture and design firm Corgan with project subcontractors Lake Flato architects of San Antonio and transportation planners Kimley-Horn of North Carolina, and eight others. The group will develop a plan for a new Terminal C at the San Antonio International Airport. 

Airport officials selected the partners’ bid over six other proposals. 

The three-year contract for terminal planning services is valued at $3.8 million , with $2.5 million coming from the airport improvement and contingency fund in the 2022-27 capital improvement budget and $1.3 million contingent upon approval of the city’s annual budget. 

The new terminal is among the first set of projects included in the Strategic Development Plan that was approved by City Council in November 2021. Terminal C is expected to be completed by 2028.

“This firm is committed to assisting us in making important decisions now that will allow us to stay on schedule and budget throughout the next five years,” stated Jesus Saenz, director of airports. 

Corgan has worked on more than 200 airports around the world and planned 8.5 million square feet of terminal projects in the past five years, including those for the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. 

The design firm will provide an architectural concept design for key parts of Terminal C in preparation for environmental reviews. It will also update cost estimates for design components and make recommendations on project phasing and procurement strategies. 

“The San Antonio region has a rich history and diverse culture and the airport’s passengers deserve a quality experience that embraces this sense of place,” stated John Trupiano, principal at Corgan. “We will be creating memorable, positive brand equity while enhancing the functionality and operations.”

In recent months, air travel has begun a slow and steady rebound from historic lows during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the San Antonio airport counted 767,099 passengers, a 40% increase compared to the same month in 2021.

Airlines are also upping their flights and adding routes. In May, Frontier Airlines launched nonstop service twice weekly to Atlanta, and on June 10, the airline plans to offer three flights a week to Philadelphia and increase its direct flights to Las Vegas. 

Southwest Airlines has added more daily flights to Cancun this month and a new Saturday service to Albuquerque. Delta announced it will resume nonstop service from San Antonio to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sept. 13.

Pre-solicitation meetings are planned in the coming months for several other high-profile contracts in the airport’s improvement plan. 

Those jobs include executive program manager, master architect, program management/construction management, on-call general engineering consultants, pavement management maintenance services, a ground loading facility and baggage handling system, and more. 

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.