Charlotte airport seeks to borrow $100 million to fund expansion

Charlotte Douglas International Airport plans to borrow $100 million for projects such as renovating the terminal and adding thousands of parking spaces, according to a memo sent to city officials Friday.

City Council is set to vote on the plan a week from Monday. It’s the latest step in Charlotte Douglas’ $1 billion expansion plan, which includes a new hourly parking deck, a new entrance road, an expanded road in front of the terminal and a new domestic concourse north of Concourse A.

Charlotte Douglas will use the $100 million to “construct additional terminal, parking and infrastructure capital investments at the Airport over the next two years,” airport officials wrote.

Specific projects to be funded include a major renovation that will replace much of the aging fixtures, equipment and flooring in the terminal, extending Little Rock Road to Wilkinson Blvd., building a three-level addition between Concourses D and E and expanding Long Term Lot 2 to add 3,000 more parking spaces.

The airport said it plans to borrow the $100 million from PNC Bank, which is offering a 0.6 percent interest rate, which the airport said is “very favorable.”

Although the expansion plan is still several years away from completion, one of its centerpieces should open soon.

The new, $120 million hourly parking deck in front of the terminal is on track to open in November, airport officials have said. The deck will have 4,000 public spaces and 3,000 spaces to store the airport’s rental cars.

Once the rental cars are moved from their current surface parking lot north of Concourse A, that will open up the next phase of development: A new 18- to 25-gate domestic concourse on that land.

Charlotte Douglas plans to refinance the short-term loan with long-term revenue bonds – which are paid for with airline fees and revenue from parking and concessions – in two or three years.

The airport also plans to refinance $135 million worth of revenue bonds from 2004, which will save $900,000 worth of interest payments annually.

Charlotte Douglas has $826 million worth of outstanding revenue bonds, according to the airport’s 2013 financial report.