City officials conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for a new parking garage at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in Fresno on Tuesday. Photos by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
The Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) continued its expansion Tuesday morning with a groundbreaking for a new four-level parking garage.
FATforward, the airport’s multi-year expansion program that aims to improve customer experience and position FAT for future growth, will also include the future construction of two additional boarding gates, space for new shops and restaurants and an international arrivals area that will be three times as large as the current size.
Mayor Lee Brand, local elected leaders and airport team members were present at the groundbreaking. The event was closed to the public due to Covid-19 precautions.
“This airport serves as far south as Bakersfield, up to Turlock, and over to the Central Coast — it’s a large area that this airport serves and so we are responsible for making sure that we can accommodate the demands of our region as it continues to grow,” said Fresno’s Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle.
The 4-level parking garage will feature 917 covered parking stations, EV charging stations, park assist technology that will display the number of vacant spaces on each floor, Pay on Foot kiosks and easy terminal access.
The completion date is slated for November 2021.
The project will bring an economic impact of an estimated $22.5 million to the local economy and create up to 200 new induced and indirect jobs for the region.
The airport received a $35 million loan from the California State Infrastructure (IBank) for the parking garage project, recognizing FAT’s importance as an economic driver for the area.
“While the economy in Fresno has struggled throughout the pandemic, and the effects of airline travel have been significant, it’s important to note that our airport has met the challenge with its innovative ‘Ready To Move You Forward’ campaign,” Brand said. “It’s crucial for our city and the surrounding region to continue investing in the airport and move forward with expansion.”
It was also announced today that FAT will receive $1.1 million in funding from the federal Department of Transportation. The funding comes from more than $1.2 billion in airport safe and infrastructure grants through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).