RS&H provided design and construction administration services for major improvements at the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Virginia. The work included a new covered escalator, stairways, and landscaping along with upgrades to Concourse A to match the current terminal appearance. The improvements were completed in fall 2013, with the official opening occurring in November.

“The airport envisioned an area that would provide an aesthetic solution allowing access to passengers currently and in the future to provide a central exterior circulation spline to further airport development,” said RS&H’s Project Manager Mark Wilcer.

In addition, the airport considered a singular updated appearance for the terminal.

Early in the design process, a handful of concepts were presented and reviewed by the Peninsula Airport Commission. The concept selected by the airport was the “wing” concept. This idea was inspired by flight and recalled the wings of birds and aircraft.

“My goal was to create a project that fulfilled the functional requirement, as well as created a dynamic first impression for the front door of the airport,” said RS&H’s Architectural Designer for the project Frank Gratton. “The vision resulted in a canopy, escalator, and stair composition that is both poetic and pragmatic,” he added.

Since the parking lot was 15 feet lower than the terminal entrance, the landside improvements required an innovative solution. The escalator provides a convenient way for guests to travel this vertical distance.

“The improvements not only give the access to the airport an aesthetic facelift, but provide the airport’s users with a more comfortable, convenient experience with a new escalator, improved lighting, and renovated pedestrian walkways,” said RS&H Aviation Engineer Nick Patterson.

The landside improvements were the final component of the Concourse B renovation project that started in 2010 and finished in 2013. RS&H was selected to renovate and modernize the 25-year-old concourse, which included HVAC upgrades, interior and apron lighting replacement, interior finishes replacement, and more.

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