As parking needs are growing at the Wilmington International Airport, officials are preparing to study their options.
ILM officials estimate that work on a study to look at the airport's parking, front curbside and signage needs, could begin in July, officials said Friday.
Airport officials are working on finalizing contracts with a team of regional and national consultants planned to conduct the study for its parking and vehicle master plan, said Granseur Dick, the airport’s director of planning and development.
The review could be wrapped up by November, Dick said.
ILM intends to work with two firms: AVCON Inc. and Mead & Hunt. Florida-based AVCON is planned to be the lead on the project, Dick said.
“We are getting to a point where our parking is at a premium, and we want to make it easier for our passengers when they arrive,” Dick said.
Just under $380,000 has been budgeted for the project, he said.
The analysis is expected to look at the types of parking improvements needed at the airport, including potentially new surface lots and a parking deck. The study would also cover where those types of improvements could be made on the airport's property.
The study will also include a terminal curb study. Airport officials want to evaluate options for ILM's front curbside and see how companies such as Uber and Lyft, as well as traditional taxies, are impacting pick up and drop off, Dick said.
The recommendations could include several options, from how to manage vehicles driving through to an expansion of the curb line, Dick said.
He said that ILM's "way-finding" signage would be evaluated as well.
As part of a current solution to ease parking, a new electronic parking sign is scheduled to be put in place along Airport Boulevard, Dick said. The sign is part of an automated system that will provide real-time data on available spaces at the airport's parking lots.
The install will take place in roughly 30 days, said Gary Broughton, ILM’s deputy director.
“We recognize that parking is a critical need of our growing airport, and we asked for a very aggressive time schedule," Dick said about the study.
When the master plan is complete, officials plan to use its recommendations to move quickly toward gaining airport authority approval for design and construction, Dick said.