Nashville BNA Vision

Airport to add Grand Ole Lobby, hotel, train link to city, and more in ambitious expansion plan

Nashville International Airport today released a $1.2 billion plan to expand the airport to keep up with Nashville’s explosive growth.  BNA Vision, as it’s being called, will expand the airport to attract new flights and connect flyers with better ground transportation options, among other things.  The entire plan is not yet set in stone because “precise details of BNA Vision will evolve as individual projects take shape,” the press release states.

To connect the airport to the city, airport officials are already building a new parking garage with 2,000 spaces.  This new garage, which is part of BNA Vision, is expected to be done in about two years.  They also made a vague mention of expanding multi-modal transit “to link BNA to future Nashville transit system.”  The rendering of the plan appears to show a train exiting the airport and heading south on Donelson Pike, away from downtown.  Some redditors speculated that the train will only link the concourse to buses along Murfreesboro Pike:

BNA Vision also calls for expanding the building’s capacity to handle more flights, especially coveted international ones.  They’re already in the process of expanding Concourse A with an international arrival area.  Concourse B will be extended to add more gates and retail/food options.  And Concourse D, which was disused a number of years ago (it was a ground-level terminal for commuter flights before that), will get a major extension.

Part of the expansion includes building a larger central lobby, which they’re calling Grand Ole Lobby.  It’s supposed to have an airy feel with lots of natural light flowing in.  The Grand Ole Lobby will consolidate ticketing, baggage check in, baggage claim, and security lanes.  They’re also planning to more than double the security lanes to 24.

Two more big changes are in the wings.  To make room for all this expansion (and to improve traffic flow), they’d like to move Donelson Pike a little to the east.  This would require the cooperation of the state, though, since it’s a state highway.  And then there’s hope for a 200- to 300-room hotel, though they don’t yet have any partners in that enterprise.

They even made a video for you:

According to airport chief Rob Wigington,

“By 2035, the population of the Greater Nashville Area is expected to surpass 2.5 million people, and Nashville International Airport’s passenger traffic will grow from 12 million today to more than 20 million. We are experiencing this rapid growth firsthand as we set new air passenger records every week, month and year. The projects comprising our BNA Vision are designed to meet the demands of this growth and address everything from international travel, to improved security wait times to more gates, parking and ease of access– all with passenger safety and convenience in mind. We’re excited to share this vision and provide a glimpse of how BNA will transform over the next several years.”

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