Philadelphia plans massive airfreight complex expansion with land purchase

Philadelphia Airport. Photo: PHL

Philadelphia aviation officials plan to gain a larger share of the estimated US$50 billion in airfreight activity generated in the region by massively expanding Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) cargo complex with new land acquisitions.

The airport plans to spend $5.5 million to acquire 15 acres of land from a York-based entity called Tinicum Realty Partners LP. The new acquisition sits adjacent to a 135-acre parcel, known as the “Henderson Tract” property, which it acquired earlier this year for the cargo project.

“The new cargo terminal is anticipated to be 1 million square feet, with room for several dozen wide-body aircraft positions,” said James Tyrrell, chief revenue officer at PHL. “Given the high activity of pharma in the region, cold storage is expected to be included in the new facility. The airport also plans to relocate some roads in order to incorporate the new terminal into the existing airport.”

City approvals for the airport’s new tract of land are also required before construction of the new terminal may begin. Airport officials have begun taking steps towards meeting approvals by working on issues such as federal environmental reviews and wetland mitigation, which are expected to take two to three years to complete.

The new land acquisition will be financed with fees paid by airlines that use the facility. Funds for the new cargo terminal’s development have not yet been determined, but will likely be met through a combination of public and private funds.


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