News | Aug 03, 2023 | Christine Furey
Arora Engineers Celebrates Unveiling of the Terminal Modernization Project at Lehigh Valley International Airport
Arora Engineers (Arora) and our key partners, Airport Design Consultants (ADCI) and The Sheward Partnership, have helped revolutionize the passenger experience at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). Unveiled by U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, on Friday, July 28th, 2023, ABE welcomed Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Congresswoman Susan Wild, and numerous Pennsylvania elected officials and community leaders to their new, 40,000SF terminal expansion and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint. The $35M greenfield terminal expansion, known as the Terminal Modernization Project, marks a significant milestone in enhancing the travel experience for ABE passengers and meets the evolving needs of modern air travel.
ABE’s Terminal Modernization Project was one of the first national infrastructure projects to receive a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) grant, and the first to be completed on task, on time and within budget utilizing these funds. The Arora team provided planning, design and construction services for this project which created three lanes of TSA Security Screening with the potential for expansion and a more direct connection to the Departure Terminal.
Before the reconstruction, passengers departed through an underground tunnel from the early 1970’s that contained the security checkpoint. The tunnel lacked capacity for the latest generation of security screening equipment required by the TSA. The new expansion introduces three lanes of TSA Security Screening, streamlining the security process and ensuring faster and more efficient passenger screening.
One of the primary objectives of the Terminal Modernization Project was to boost TSA processing and capacity while enhancing the travel experience for ADA passengers. Arora’s innovative approach allowed for a direct connection via an elevated connector bridge to the Departure Terminal from the ticket counter level, eliminating several inconvenient vertical transitions from the previous configuration.
With a focus on modernization and passenger comfort, the Terminal Modernization Project replaced unreliable escalators and elevators to reduce the number of vertical transitions within the terminal complex, simplifying the passenger experience and enhancing accessibility for all travelers. This project also includes several unique elements like a medical-grade air purification system that eradicates 99.99% of airborne pathogens and highly efficient, self-tinting windows that prevent glare and block UV rays, saving energy and enhancing outdoor views.
The upgraded terminal now facilitates a more spacious and efficient post-COVID air travel environment, providing extra room for passenger queuing lines and eliminating crossflow between inbound and outbound travelers near the TSA checkpoint.
“We take immense pride in the transformative impact achieved at ABE through our team’s efforts. This success was made possible by the outstanding collaboration of State, Local, and Federal authorities who partnered with the private sector to deliver this impactful infrastructure improvement,” said Manik Arora, President & CEO of Arora. “We are thrilled to play a pivotal role in enhancing ABE’s infrastructure, offering travelers a seamless and enjoyable experience while ensuring the highest levels of safety and efficiency.”
“We were so pleased to join our partners at Arora at the unveiling of Lehigh Valley International Airport’s (ABE) new state-of-the-art terminal expansion,” said Nick Jean-Baptiste, Co-Managing Partner at Jacmel Partners. “This significant modernization project at ABE is indicative of the infrastructure needs across our country, and we look forward to working with the Arora team to bring together leaders across public and private sectors to achieve great results for clients and communities.”
Since 2017, ABE faced increasing demand for security screening but lacked sufficient space to implement additional TSA equipment. The Terminal Connector introduced as part of the project increases capacity by adding a third screening lane, raising passenger processing from 300-per-hour to an impressive 740-passengers-per-hour.
Arora’s comprehensive scope of services for the Terminal Modernization Project included program and construction management, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, fire protection, special systems (security and communications), and project administration.
The completion of the Terminal Modernization Project marks a milestone achievement for the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority and surrounding community. The improved facility expands TSA processing and capacity, enhances the experience for ADA passengers, and will undoubtedly elevate the customer experience for all passengers, making the Lehigh Valley International Airport a preferred hub for both domestic and international travel.