Charlotte airport moves forward with new concourse plans

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is preparing for construction of its new concourse with an environmental review, according to a request for qualifications released Thursday.

The new concourse will be just north of Concourse A, where rental cars are parked now. Those cars will be moving to the $120 million hourly parking deck in front of the terminal, which is slated to open in November.

On Thursday, the airport said it’s looking for a company to test soil and groundwater at the rental car lot for contamination. The testing will be done in preparation for demolition at the site, which Charlotte Douglas plans to start in early 2015.

The rental car companies at the airport have used the 23-acre site since the 1980s and have underground fuel tanks, lubrication, cleaning and maintenance services on their lots. That means a “high probability exists for subsurface contamination” on parts of the site, Charlotte Douglas wrote.

Charlotte Douglas had originally planned for the new concourse to be a stand-alone facility for international flights. But airport administrators decided to build new domestic gates instead this year, based on the more pressing demand for those.

The new concourse will have eight to 12 domestic gates at first, though it could be expanded or converted to an international terminal later. It’s part of $1 billion worth of upgrades at Charlotte Douglas, from a new entrance road to a complete terminal renovation. Charlotte Douglas is the second-busiest hub for American Airlines, with about 730 daily flights.