By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Ports Authority has received five bids for the tender seeking to build and expand the passenger terminal at Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla.
Ports Executive Director Joel A. Pizá Batiz provided the information Monday.
The tender calls for installing jet bridges to protect passengers from inclement weather.
Pizá Batiz described receiving the five proposals as good participation in the tender and expressed satisfaction with the project’s progress.
The project intends to maximize the potential of the Aguadilla airport. Pizá Batiz noted that in 2021, Ports invested $300,000 for architect Manuel Goicochea to create the design.
“The receipt of these five proposals leads us to new phases of this project, which is a priority for this administration,” the Ports chief said. “Now we enter other processes consisting of the analysis of the proposals, the selection of a preferred bidder, the adjudication of the process and the subsequent signing of the contract. Our goal is to achieve this by the first quarter of 2023. At this time, we continue to progress in reaching our goal of maximizing the potential of Aguadilla airport.”
Pizá Batiz said the project would add about 40,400 square feet to the terminal to bring it to a total of 152,000 square feet from the current 111,600 square feet.
“This is a project with multiple benefits, among which an unprecedented action at that airport stands out, to provide boarding bridges,” he said. “As a result, circulation and passenger flow and the general experience of the traveler passing through this airport will improve. In addition, more space and comfort will be provided for the operations of federal agencies and the airport community in general.”
The proposed terminal expansion includes the construction of a mezzanine with a larger boarding room to connect bridges to the terminal building. It will also develop areas to accommodate more food, convenience concessions, and new baggage claim belt systems (conveyors) for multiple flights.
There will be a canopy to provide shelter in the exterior areas of the terminal, improvements in areas for dropping off and picking up passengers, and new bathrooms, signage and furniture to improve passenger comfort.
Financing for the project includes $12 million from a restricted account and $14 million from the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the package approved by Congress last year under the new infrastructure law.
Pizá Batiz also noted that Ports continues to seek additional funds for the project, but said that effort would not affect its start date.