Terminal Expansion Ribbon Cutting Held at Wilmington Int’l Airport

On Monday February 7th, the Wilmington International Airport (ILM) held a ribbon cutting for the terminal expansion.  It officially opened to the public the following day.

Airport Authority Chairman, Donna Girardot speaks to the crowd.  The terrazzo floor design “Loggerhead Labyrinth” is by local artist Jill Webb. 

“Our community is vibrant, we are unique, and our beautiful beaches, the Cape Fear River, and everything in between make this place a continuous draw for people from across the globe.  Many of them come through this Airport, and will soon experience a different look, feel and efficiency thanks to this project,” stated Julia Olson-Boseman, New Hanover County Commission Chair. “They say the first impression is a lasting one. And this expansion certainly makes a positive first impression.  This new concourse, the Parks L. Griffin Plaza, and public art have all come together to be a direct reflection of our community.”  

ILM airport has experienced significant growth in passenger numbers. 2019 was a milestone year as the airport served over 1 million passengers.  Throughout Covid, ILM has seen a strong recovery in passenger numbers.  In fact, based on TSA passenger throughput data, ILM’s passenger recovery has outperformed other airports in North Carolina and across the United States.

New Hanover County Commission Chair and Airport Authority Board Member, Julia Olson-Boseman, offers remarks.

“With all our growth and demand, expanding the terminal has been a top priority. We want to ensure ILM has increased capacity to accommodate our current and future growth,” stated Donna Girardot Airport Authority Chairman.  ILM’s terminal expansion project has been a multiyear $68 million project.  “I would like to thank our key federal and state partners for making this project possible,” Girardot shared.

ILM’s terminal expansion project has been completed in phases.

  • Contract 1 of the terminal expansion added a new outbound bag room and screening equipment.
  • Contract 2 expanded ILM’s airline ticket lobby, ticket counters and ticket offices.
  • Contract 3, which was celebrated at the ribbon cutting, is the largest and most dynamic portion of the expansion project. The work on this phase of the project adds new gate space, new gate seating, new restrooms, and new and expanded concession space. 

Wilmington International Airport’s terminal expansion project increased the airport facility by 75%.  According to Donna Girardot, Airport Authority Chairman, “With this increased capacity, we can accommodate and support the growth of our existing airline partners, American, Delta, and United, and we have room and plan to welcome additional carriers.  We also have the capacity to serve 50% more passengers and ensure, with our additional space, there’s “More Room to Coast” for all of them.”

Moving forward, ILM will continue to work on Contract 3, schedule 2, which completes in summer of 2023.  Once complete, the construction of the terminal will include 9 total gates, an expanded bag claim area, and renovations to the existing hold room which will match the look and feel of ILM’s new concourse.