Big changes are coming to Bradley International Airport.

There’s a push to transform the mid-sized airport in Windsor Locks into a major New England hub.

The project will take 20 years, but essentially everything you know now will change as nearly everything will be expanding in some way.

From the terminals, to the car rental lot, to the parking garage and the roads that lead to the airport, Bradley is set to boom.

“There are 4.4 million people that live within our market area so if we can keep developing the airline services here, we’ll keep bringing passengers to the airport,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director at Bradley International Airport.

Airport officials unveiled a $1.4 billion expansion plan that could make Bradley competitive with the Logan’s and the Kennedy’s of the northeast.

“I do believe this airport could be a 10 million passenger airport so when you start to talk about the activity of that level you really need to take a hard look at the infrastructure,” Dillon said.

Some of the biggest visible changes will be at the terminals. This plan would have the new ‘terminal b connect with terminal a.’

A new rental car lot will be built on the property, eliminating the shuttles.

Visitors are already starting to see the results of these dreams. Construction has already begun on the Route 20 connector road. This is going to improve traffic and make room for that new rental car lot. International carriers like Aer Lingus have already broadened the offerings of this airport and the expansion could make Bradley more attractive to other airlines and destinations.

“Any airport has to have the market to be attractive to the airlines and we certainly have that,” Dillon said.

“It’s so much more convenient to fly out of Bradley than having to go to New York or Boston if you want to go anywhere direct,” said Roberta O’Brien, of Rocky Hill.

Travelers are excited for the changes but others say they’ll miss the ease of navigating the smaller terminals.

“I’d like to keep it on a smaller level. I like to fly out of Westchester just for the convenience of how small and how quick and easy it is to get in and out,” said Steve Confortini, of New Milford.

Airport officials say the goal is to keep the convenience level intact. The Federal Aviation Administration will need to approve this plan, but officials say they are confident it will be approved.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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