Fresno Yosemite International Airport image via City of Fresno
Written by David Castellon
Finding parking at Fresno Yosemite International Airport should become easier in the next few years, now that the city’s airport authority has received approval for a $35 million loan to build a parking garage.
Officials announced late Monday that California State Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank had approved the loan for the three-level structure that will have 900 covered parking spaces.
The 30-year loan, at a 3.15-percent interest rate, is the largest to date under IBank’s Infrastructure State Revolving Fund Program, airport officials report.
IBank finances public infrastructure and private development that promotes economic development and improves quality of life in California communities.
Plans are to build the parking garage on the site of the current 300-space, long-term parking lot across from the airport terminal.
And that’s not the only airport parking project in the works.
Construction is expected to begin in April on a 650-space parking lot on eight vacant acres east of the airport’s employee parking lot. Since that project doesn’t involve constructing a building, airport officials expect to have the new lot completed quickly, possibly in June —well ahead of the planned start for construction of the parking garage in early 2021.
That project is expected to be finished by late 2022.
The parking projects are part of a plan that will include a $70 million terminal expansion, adding two more gates.
Kevin Meikle, Fresno’s director of aviation, said now that the parking structure is funded, his office will look at getting another loan or seeking a bond to pay for the terminal expansion.
He said the loans or bonds for all the projects will be paid off by airport proceeds.
“At a time when airports across the nation are challenged with funding infrastructure needs, IBank’s approval advances Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s effort by investing in this major parking project to accommodate the region’s growth,” Meikle said in a written statement. “The investment aligns with efforts to meet capacity demands of the future by providing safe, efficient, and modern facilities while maintaining a high level of service expected by travelers and guests.”
Recognizing the value of the project to the region in terms of its economic contribution and job creation, the Airport received state legislative and Fresno City Council support for IBank’s loan, the statement continues, noting that the parking garage project is expected to directly and indirectly generate 1,220 jobs and $182 million in economic activity.
Airport officials also confirmed that Delta Airlines plans to start using larger planes later this year for its flights between Fresno and Salt Lake City, increasing the number of seats available to passengers traveling to and from that destination.
Currently, Delta offers three flights daily to Salt Lake, using Bombardier’s 69-seat CRJ700s and 50-seat CRJs.
Airport spokeswoman Vikkie Calderon said starting Aug. 12, Delta plans to have most of those flights handled by CRJ900 planes, each with 76 seats.