Dallas/Fort Worth Airport wants to build more parking spaces.
The airport recently opened 1,150 new covered parking spaces in its Express North parking lot and unveiled plans at its Thursday board meeting to build an additional 2,550 spaces in that lot.
The next phase could cost up to $9 million to construct another 1,225 covered spaces by next November, airport vice president of development and engineering Perfecto Solis told the board. The last phase of 1,325 covered spaces could cost up to $9.25 million and could be completed by November 2014. The airport has grown its Express North parking lot to accommodate travelers since it demolished its Terminal A parking garage earlier this year to build a new terminal garage.
Airport chief executive Jeff Fegan gave the board a year-in-review report for the airport’s fiscal year which ended on October 1. Fegan called it one of the best operating years in the airport’s history as it generated $20 million more in revenues than it had budgeted.
“We started this year and we weren’t quite sure how it was going to play out,” Fegan said, referring to American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp., filing for bankruptcy last November. “But we continued to move forward and do some good things.”
The airport added several new international and domestic destinations in the past year as well as welcomed JetBlue Airways, Emirates Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines and Asiana Cargo service. And American has reaffirmed all of its leases and use agreements with the airport and has paid the airport $11 million to cover a prepetition bankruptcy claim.
Fegan received a $15,000 raise, or 3.75 percent, from the board on Thursday. His new salary will be $415,000 and he will also receive a one-time $68,000 bonus for meeting most of the airport’s strategic goals in its latest fiscal year.
The airport board also approved plans for the Southgate Plaza development’s initial phase that will include a Hyatt Place and new corporate headquarters for the airport. Its owner cities, including Fort Worth, have already approved funding part of the project from the public improvement facility corporation fund which collects revenues from the two existing airport hotels and the rental car center.
DFW had fewer passengers in its terminals in October, down 0.7 percent, compared to the same month last year as Hurricane Sandy led to hundreds of cancelled flights. In its monthly operations report, the airport said American carried 4.1 million passengers, down 2.4 percent, also due to operational issues the carrier experienced in early October when it said the pilots were filing more last-minute maintenance requests and calling in sick. The pilots union denied it was engaging in a work slow down.
International traffic grew 8.7 percent as the airport served 488,183 international passengers in the month compared to October 2011. The airport’s total cargo operations grew 2.8 percent, however, international cargo dropped 4.4 percent for the month.