GRAND RAPIDS — The Kent County Board of Aeronautics authorized airport staff Wednesday to prepare request for qualifications for the relocation of baggage screening units in the airport terminal.
A study completed last year recommended relocation of all baggage screening devices and ticketing operations to the west wing of the Ford International Airport terminal, as well as consolidation of all baggage screening units into an in-line system behind the ticket counters to free up adequate space for passenger check-in.
Facilities Director Thomas Ecklund said it would cost about $28 million to move the devices out of the airport lobby and told the board Wednesday that a national study group has proposed a financing plan to help airports cover the relocation costs. The proposal is expected to pass sometime this year. Ecklund said $621,000 is budgeted in the 2007 capital improvement program to pay for the initial design phase of the project.
Aeronautics Director James Koslosky said the airport hopes to move forward on the project this year and noted that the federal government is expected to finance 80 percent to 90 percent of the total project cost.
Ecklund said interviews with prospective firms are scheduled for March and that the project contract would be awarded in May.
Also on Wednesday, the board gave staff the go-ahead to seek request for qualifications and request for proposals for a commercial real estate agent to market seven non-aeronautical parcels on airport property.
“We don’t want to sell the parcels; we just want to create leasing opportunities,” Koslosky pointed out.