Coming to Charlotte’s airport: More construction, updated concourses

Rendering of planned renovations in Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Concourse B.
Rendering of planned renovations in Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Concourse B.

Workers are preparing to start renovations inside Charlotte Douglas International Airport, adding to a wave of construction that’s so far mostly been on the airport’s exterior.

Construction at Concourse B will start Sept. 6, airport officials said Thursday. The concourses date to 1982, and the drop ceilings, carpet and lack of outlets to charge devices are in need of an update. After Concourse B’s makeover, work will start on Concourse A in summer 2018 and on Concourses C and D in early 2019.

The work consists of installing new ceiling tiles, putting terazzo flooring in the center walkway (better for rolling luggage and easier to clean than carpet), new carpets in the waiting areas where passengers sit, new wall panels, new seats with integrated power charging stations and a fresh coat of paint. The building systems passengers don’t see, such as HVAC, electrical and sprinkler systems, will also be replaced.

Charlotte Douglas sees more than 120,000 passengers a day, and the concourses can be extremely crowded during peak times. Most of the work will take place overnight, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. to try to minimize disruptions for passengers. But, airport officials warned, parts of the concourses will be construction zones, blocked off from passengers during the day.

“Passengers will see open ceilings and bare concrete flooring,” officials warned.

The entire concourse renovation project is scheduled to be completed in 2020, with a projected cost of $70 million. Other projects underway as part of the airport’s $2.5 billion Destination CLT expansion plan include nine new gates north of Concourse A, a new, eight-lane road in front of the terminal and an expansion of Concourse E.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo