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USA: The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has signed a 10-year agreement with its airline partners that will give the Airport Authority the ability to contribute over a half-billion dollars to help alleviate traffic congestion and make it easier for everyone to access San Diego International Airport.

The Airport Authority is currently working with its regional partners, including SANDAG, the City of San Diego, Port of San Diego, the Military, MTS, Caltrans and NCTD on potential transportation and transit connection improvements to the airport. The agreement with the airlines will help provide key funding for those projects, if approved.

“This agreement ensures that the Airport Authority will have the means to effectively partner with other regional agencies to improve access to the airport through transportation and transit projects,” said April Boling, Airport Authority Board Chairman. “It also supports the Airport Development Plan, which envisions the replacement of Terminal 1 and related improvements.”

While the specific improvements are being studied and not yet approved, the agreement ensures there will be substantial funding for those improvements should the Airport Authority and partner agencies decide to go forward with them.

The contribution of over a half-billion dollars includes:

  • $350 million for on- and potential off-airport public transportation projects in conjunction with regional partner agencies. The agreement allows the Airport Authority to contribute up to this amount when third-parties (such as regional partner agencies) contribute funds for off-airport transportation and transit projects.
  • This funding could also help pay for a new transit station on airport property that could connect to the regional system. Space for a station is included in the current Airport Development Plan.
  • An additional $165 million – funded 100 percent by the Airport Authority and the Airlines - could be used for multimodal mobility corridor improvements also contemplated in the Airport Development Plan and, if approved, might include an inbound, on-airport access roadway adjacent to Harbor Drive and a bicycle path.
  • If approved, the roadway would connect Laurel Street directly to the airport, with no traffic lights. This would remove an estimated 45,000 cars per day from Harbor Drive. It also includes a right-of-way for future outbound lanes.
  • Additionally, the multimodal mobility corridor improvements could free up space on Harbor Drive for potential Rapid Bus or light rail transit opportunities that could serve not only the airport, but also Harbor Island redevelopment projects being considered by the Port of San Diego.

“The airport and the airlines provide significant economic impact for the region, and this is just the latest example of that commitment,” said Kim Becker, Airport Authority President and CEO. “I sincerely appreciate the airlines’ willingness to participate in this agreement and pre-approve a significant investment in transportation and transit infrastructure.”

The Airport Development Plan includes projects that provide better connections for transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians, including:

  • New all-electric shuttle service to and from the Old Town Transit Center
  • Upgraded transit amenities at the new Terminal 1 curbfront, such as bus shelters, info kiosks, and electronic next-arrival signs
  • A new multi-use walking and biking path along North Harbor Drive

As with all off-airport projects, the Airport Authority will seek FAA approval for possible off-airport transportation and transit projects, similar to previous and current off-airport projects undertaken by the Airport Authority to improve Harbor Drive and Sassafras Street.

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Melbourne Airport Rail Link

AUSTRALIA: The Victorian Government has given the green light to progress the detailed business case for Melbourne Airport Rail, with a path via Sunshine selected as the best route. Development of the business case is now underway with the project set to begin construction by 2022, subject to required approvals. 

Rail Projects Victoria, that is overseeing the planning and delivery of Melbourne Airport Rail on behalf of the Victorian Government, has opened the consultation on the works. You can have your say on Melbourne Airport Rail by completing an online survey at http://railprojects.vic.gov.au/airportrailsurvey. The survey will close at 5pm on Monday, 29 July 2019. 

In 2016-17, Melbourne Airport handled more than 35 million passenger movements and this figure will almost double to more than 67 million by 2038. The Victorian and Commonwealth governments have committed up to $5 billion each to Melbourne Airport Rail which will provide a vital link for tourists and business people to connect to the CBD, and importantly to regional Victoria. 

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USA: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced the recipients of more than $326 million in grant funds under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program and the Special Transportation Circumstances Program, for a wide variety of state and local railroad infrastructure projects. The grants will fund 45 projects in 29 states.

From those funds up to $2.8m will be allocated to Rhode Island - TF Green Airport intercity rail service project, which will allow to complete preliminary engineering and federal environmental review for a new Amtrak stop at TF Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, the only airport adjacent to the Northeast Corridor without direct access to it.

Another $2.7m will go to Wisconsin - Milwaukee Area Passenger and Freight Rail Improvement Project. The funds will be used to upgrade the signalling system to centralized train control on approximately 2 miles of track surrounding the Milwaukee Intermodal Station on the state-supported Hiawatha Amtrak service, building on a fiscal year 2017 CRISI grant to add a second platform at the airport station. This will enable the 20 freight trains and 16 passenger trains that daily travel the area to operate closer to permitted speeds.

Full list of projects can be found here >>>

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ROMANIA: A consortium of Arada Company, ISPCF and DB Engineering & Consulting has been selected by the Romanian Infrastructure Manager CFR to deliver modernisation of Bucureşti Nord – Henri Coandă International Airport.

The project involved building a new track between Bucharest central station and Henri Coandă International Airport located in Otopeni and a passenger station at Terminal 1.

The total estimated cost of the contract, expected to last 14 months (two months for design and 12 months for execution) is EUR 88.6 million.

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Saudi Airlines

UAE: Saudi Arabian Airlines and Saudi Railways have signed a strategic partnership agreement on 27 May to provide integrated transport services between the airline and the Al-Haramain Express rail service.

The partnership aims to develop an interoperable air-rail passenger experience service including online travel procedures, apps, self-service and seamless baggage transfer between the airline and Haramain train stations in Medina, Jeddah, King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.