In 2022, more than 850 million passengers journeyed through U.S. airports. A year later, that number grew by nearly 100 million, totaling approximately 941 million passengers in 2023. This surge in air travel post-COVID-19 underscores the significance of modern and efficient aviation infrastructure.

With nearly 400+ projects completed across various airports in the United States, PCL is a prominent player in aviation construction, playing a crucial role in ensuring airports are equipped to handle the demands of modern air travel. These projects are often highly complex and must be completed with little disruption to the airports which remain at full or nearly full operations during construction. PCL’s expertise spans the entire spectrum of airport infrastructure, covering everything from terminals and baggage handling systems to taxiways, runways, and anything in between.

Here is a look at PCL projects at every touchpoint in a traveler’s journey, showing how the company is shaping the future of airport infrastructure by facilitating smoother and more efficient travel experiences for millions of passengers each year.

While many flyers opt to avoid baggage fees and kiosks altogether with carry-on luggage, 55% of travelers still check some or all of their luggage. To streamline the arrival process, the use of technology and the need for efficiency have been major drivers in recent ticket hall renovations at airports across the country. In 2018, PCL completed the Orlando International Airport Main Ticket Lobby Modifications. In addition to a new curbside check-in area, the main ticket lobby was renovated to support increasing passenger traffic, improve efficiency and reduce congestion. 

Those who do hand over their suitcase to the counter attendant may pause to wonder how their luggage makes its way to the airplane. PCL has first-hand knowledge of the complex, behind-the-scenes baggage handling systems at a number of international airports. In 2020, PCL completed the Sea-Tac Baggage Optimization Project at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new 110,000-square-foot system added nearly one mile of new conveyor belt and maximized the outbound baggage capacity to meet the minimum connect time goal and increase reliability. 

With bags dropped, the next stop on a traveler's journey is security. If it’s as efficient as the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Terminal 3, Concourse E, many will make it through in no time and on their way to a relaxing pre-flight meal or beverage.

Airports in the United States collectively need $151 billion over the next five years to meet their infrastructure needs. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced it will invest nearly $1 billion each year for the next five years to renovate airport terminals. These funds are an addition to the millions (if not billions) of dollars many cities are pumping into their airports to meet passenger demand. As airports look to modernize their facilities, they’re keeping dining and entertainment options for passengers’ top of mind.

Since 2018, PCL has delivered nearly 20 eateries and stores at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). One example is the Terminal 1 SSP America Food Court, a five-option marketplace that provides dining options to the 75 million travelers who pass through LAX annually.  

PCL has also renovated and built several airport terminals to expand passenger capacity. The San Diego Airport Terminal 2 West Building, the first-ever LEED Platinum Airport in the world, added 10 aircraft gates, security checkpoints, and dining and shopping facilities. PCL also constructed The West Gates at Tom Bradley International at LAX, a 1.7 million-square-foot terminal with 15 gates and five stories of concessions, retail and airline club space. With the goal of creating “urban neighborhoods,” this project incorporated powered work counters, play areas and conversation pods surrounding the gates.

For those who prefer to relax in a lounge while waiting to board their flight, PCL has completed several elegant and high-scale options across the U.S., including 14 at the Seattle-Tacoma International (SeaTac) Airport. Delta Air Lines’ 23,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club at the SeaTac Airport features a two-story lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows that self-darken. The new club offers stunning views of Mount Rainier and gives guests plenty of room to relax and refresh with high-end amenities, including a spa, six shower stations, a large buffet and full bar. The interior design of the club pays tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, featuring stylish hardwood tables, curving wood-paneled walls and ceilings, and colorful glass in shapes that suggest the movement of water.  

Alaska Airlines’ Concourse C Lounge at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport provides 7,000 square feet of unparalleled lounge experience for travelers to relax and recharge before or in between flights. The fresh design made way for updated restrooms, a commercial kitchen, high-end finishes, and sprawling ceilings that maximize the natural light while offering stunning views of the main runway and the Olympic Mountains.

Picking up a rental car is often the last stop between a passenger and their final destination. Airports across the country are investing millions into making rental car pickup a seamless (and quick) experience. PCL recently completed the Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) Facility at LAX. This 6.3 million-square-foot facility consolidated 20 rental agencies into one convenient stop. The facility is estimated to be the largest cast-in-place concrete project of its kind.

PCL has built, renovated or expanded over 30 major international airports across North America. The company’s expertise with all aspects of these complex, high-security, mission critical facilities enhance passenger experience and helps make the journey just as enjoyable as time spent at their destination.