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Wilmington Airport expanding to meet demand

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

The Delaware River and Bay Authority’s Five-Year Strategic Plan includes two major capital projects at the Wilmington Airport.

Work on the first project is already underway.

That’s the demolition of the Quality Inn hotel next door to create temporary parking, with a long term goal of developing a layout that improves accessibility and circulation around the airport.

That project has a $3 million price tag and is expected to be complete by late spring/early summer.

DRBA’s Senior Airports Engineer Greg Suchanoff says the second project is a terminal expansion, which they’re hoping to get a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant for in March.

“And that’s a 6,000 square foot expansion to our gate area that will allow us meet the actual demand we’re experiencing right now,” he explained. “It’ll provide two gates so we can have simultaneous boarding of the aircrafts, and provide restroom upgrades for the rest of the terminal building. It’s back of the house improvements just so we can have a more reliable facility.”

The $6.5 million project will also include expanded concessions and a service animal relief area.

ILG Terminal Expansion Rendering
C & S Companies
Delaware River and Bay Authority
ILG Terminal Expansion Rendering

Construction is expected to begin this summer, and be finished by summer 2025.

DRBA Deputy Executive Director Stephen Williams says these projects are a testament to the high demand Avelo Airlines has seen since they began operating out of Wilmington ILG a year ago.

“And so what these improvements are designed to do is just meet that demand. We’re not expanding for future capacity. We’re not going further than we think the airport needs to go right now,” said Williams.

Suchanoff adds that the two projects are designed to be easily built off of should the airport experience further growth moving forward.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.