New upgrades coming to Philadelphia Int'l Airport

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New upgrades coming to PHL. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on April 10.

A new project at the Philadelphia International Airport is making upgrades to improve the terminal experience, and will bring an economic boost to the city.

A day at the airport is moving people and their bags, feeding them and getting them on and off an airplane.

But economically what's all this worth?

Plenty according to a gathering of VIPS.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "The airport generates 78 million dollars in tax revenue to the city."

A report commission by PHL says there are 25,000 people who work for the airport and airlines.

Chellie Cameron is the airport's CEO.

She says, "Those jobs are good jobs and the average salary for those airport jobs is more than 50,000 a year, and so it's a great economic impact."

The number of take-offs and landings are actually down from 2005, but the passenger count is about the same as airlines have replaced smaller planes with larger aircraft.

That change means a new runway that is in the planning stage, is now not the priority it once was.

"We don't need the new runway right now because the take-offs and landings at the airport are down," said Cameron.

The focus is now on making sure terminals are in good shape. Terminal B is in the midst of an extensive makeover with upscale amenities.

Airports now compete to attract connecting passengers.

Cameron says, "In this world today, passengers frequently make their decisions from where they want to connect through, based on what that airport has to offer."

The focus is on making the passenger experience better.


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