“Excuse me, where is the nearest bathroom?”
Oftentimes, restrooms are the first place airport guests visit when arriving and their last stop before departing. With this in mind, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is continuing its Restroom Renovation Program, a seven-phase project. When complete, all 48 sets of bathrooms at PHL will be modernized.
“These upgrades will improve quality and comfort of our restrooms, increase water efficiency, and decrease maintenance work, all of which have a positive impact on the passenger experience,” said PHL CEO Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron.
This renovation project will continue through 2026 and encompasses male and female washrooms and all-gender assisted care washrooms. Ancillary functions may include janitor’s closets and storage, and related functions may include Service Animal Relief Areas (SARA), lactation suites, quiet spaces (for meditation, reflection and prayer), benches with device charging spaces and assisted care spaces incorporating amenities such as changing tables.
“Restrooms are not necessarily what they used to be. There is a whole expectation about service, people want it to be an experience. We want to provide a high level of service for our customers. This renovation shows we are listening to our clients and that we take their needs and wants very seriously,” said PHL Deputy Director of Aviation - Capital Development, Api Appulingam.
Phases one and two are completed. These restrooms are being revisited as part of the current program, since the last renovation was over seven years ago. Meanwhile, phase three is currently under construction, phase four was sent for bid at the end of last year and a contract was awarded to a consultant for phases five thru seven. Each set of bathrooms is estimated to cost $1.5 million and its construction takes approximately seven months from start to finish.
This remodeling process has been broken down into stages to accommodate seasonal travel demand and tenant/stakeholder needs.
New pedestrian safety systems on Arrivals Road
It’s not uncommon to see drivers scanning the arrivals terminals sidewalks looking for their families and friends, which, in turn, can represent a safety risk for pedestrians using the crosswalks.
In order to enhance the safety needs of our guests, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) installed pedestrian safety systems for crosswalks, improved pedestrian’s curb ramps and replaced the temporary bus shelters on Arrivals Road, North Commercial Road and South Commercial Road. The safety improvements include: installation of in-road warning light systems at 21 crosswalks along Arrivals Road; installation of 12 flashing pedestrian crossing signs on South Commercial Road; renewal of pedestrian curb ramps to meet current Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements; and the replacement of temporary bus shelters along South Commercial Road with new permanent structures.
“These enhancements create safer conditions for drivers and pedestrians alike,” said Api Appulingam, PHL Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development.
The project’s design is in accordance with the safety standards of the Federal Highway Administration, Uniform Vehicle Code, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and PennDOT.
Beyond PHL, extended runway opens up new possibilities
As part of our continued effort to open Philadelphia to the world, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) completed a five-year project that added 1,500 feet to Runway 27L, one of our main runways, making it 12,000 feet long. The lengthened runway can now accommodate the newest fleet of large aircraft that are popular on many long-haul international routes.
The $200 million project began in 2014 and was completed in phases. In addition to the extension to the runway, the project resulted in 10,300 feet added from new and realigned taxiways, providing more space to queue planes and improve airfield circulation.
“Infrastructure investments like this project make PHL a serious contender in the global aviation industry. PHL has seen significant growth in recent years, and our partner airlines are adding new service to more cities both here and abroad. Next June, American Airlines is launching its first direct flight to Africa with non-stop service from PHL to Casablanca. The extended runway and added airfield space will give us more flexibility in accommodating the newer fleet of aircraft that are being flown on international routes to Asia and beyond,” CEO Chellie Cameron noted.
The project was funded through a combination of federal and state grants, Passenger Facility Charges, and Airport revenue sources.
Mayor Jim Kenney joined Airport CEO Cameron and FAA Associate Administrator for Airports, Kirk Shaffer, in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Business Opportunity Forum: a chance for small and minority-owned enterprises
More than 500 representatives of large firms and small businesses, minority-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises and organizations attended our Annual Business Opportunity Forum, which took place at the Airport Marriott Hotel on October 4.
Participants in the Forum engaged in round table discussions focused on connecting small and diverse businesses with opportunities at the Airport, doing business at PHL, and were inspired by success stories told by diverse firms. Likewise, PHL executives and regional and local business leaders were on hand for networking and responding to individual questions.
“Philadelphia has experienced a robust job growth rate, spurred by a thriving business community of which Philadelphia International Airport is a cornerstone. This Forum plays an important role in supporting firms within the region and, more specifically, it provides a tremendous opportunity for small and diverse businesses,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
In addition to Mayor Kenney, speakers included Airport CEO Chellie Cameron and U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, as well as members of the PHL executive staff and business partners.
“The opportunities for businesses of all sizes at a major airport like ours are substantial and diverse,” Cameron said. “This Forum is ideal for learning about PHL’s project opportunities, including environment and sustainability, civil projects, goods, terminal projects, IT, security, concessions and much more. We are excited to share all of the dynamic work available at the Airport.”
We hope you will join us this year!