VALLEY CENTRAL: Video: McAllen touts $26 million airport terminal expansion
McAllen-Miller International Airport recently completed a major $26 million expansion.
The project modernized the passenger terminal and added 55,000 square feet of new space to the existing 100,000-square-foot building.
“When you have a large, growing population like we have here in the Valley, it was easy to decide there should be an investment,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo who represents the western Hidalgo County.
The project cost about $26.4 million. McAllen, though, paid just $4.4 million.
Fees paid by passengers contributed another $12.4 million towards the project. The Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration paid the remainder.
“We didn’t have to raise taxes for it,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, adding that the expanded airport may help attract new travelers and boost airport revenue.
The new airport boasts an additional gate, spacious lobby, renovated food court, extra retail space and a new baggage-handling system.
“All of our airports have explosive detection equipment, but this in-line system makes it faster and more efficient,” said Carrie Harmon, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.
The new screening system allows screeners to handle 600 bags every hour.
American Airlines, United Airlines, Aeromar and Allegiant currently serve the McAllen airport.