WINDSOR LOCKS, CONN. – The Connecticut Airport Authority celebrated the anticipated opening of its Ground Transportation Center at Bradley International Airport with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
After five years of planning and construction, which took place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new $210 million state-of-the-art facility is on track to open to the public in mid-July.
When it opens, it will provide an elevated passenger experience, with improved access to rental cars, more parking, and future options for public transit.
“The Ground Transportation Center will dramatically improve the passenger experience at Bradley International Airport for both arrivals and departures,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “Those of us who live in Connecticut know how convenient it is to fly in and out of Bradley. It was one of our best-kept secrets, but now that secret is out. This new facility, built without the use of taxpayer funds, is key to Bradley’s position as an essential economic driver for our state and is already helping to bring new airlines and destinations that benefit our residents and businesses.”
“Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in Bradley International Airport’s history,” said Connecticut Airport Authority Board of Directors Chair Tony Sheridan. “Despite the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction of the airport’s new Ground Transportation Center has been achieved on time and on budget. Without a doubt, this has been a massive undertaking, and we extend our gratitude to all our partners on the successful completion of this major passenger enhancement.”
“CTDOT is committed to expanding connections to various modes of public transportation to get people where they need to go safely and efficiently,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti. “By expanding express bus routes and increasing rail services in the corridor, we are creating a convenient and seamless travel experience throughout Connecticut.”
“With the opening of the Ground Transportation Center, we have made a significant investment in the passenger experience at Bradley International Airport,” said Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E. “In addition to transforming the airport footprint, the facility will streamline operations, save time for passengers, improve access to public transportation, while also eliminating traffic congestion and easing access to our arrivals and departures levels.”
The key elements of the new Ground Transportation Center include:
Convenient Rental Car Services
The rental car operations for nine brands will be consolidated under one roof in this facility, including vehicle pick-up and drop-off, car storage, cleaning, and fueling. Passenger access is available within a short and sheltered walking distance from the main terminal, Terminal A. Passengers will no longer need to use a shuttle to access their rental cars.
Additional Public Parking
The facility will add 830 new public parking spots, increasing the airport’s parking availability by ten percent. More than half of those spaces will offer covered parking, and the remainder will be surface parking spots next to the facility. All new spots are within a short walking distance to Terminal A.
Improved Access to Public Transportation
In addition to housing charter bus traffic, the facility will also include a dedicated area that, in the future, will be used to receive high-frequency buses connecting the airport to the CTRail line, as well as regional bus services.
With the environment in mind, the opening of the facility will eliminate more than a quarter million estimated shuttle trips per year. The facility will house more than 50 electric vehicle charging stations. The rental car companies will also utilize environmentally friendly substances and will recycle and filter water during car washes.
While the Ground Transportation Center is expected to create efficiencies and transform the passenger experience, it has also drastically changed the airport’s physical footprint. The facility spans across 13.4 acres and highlights the airport’s three letter identifier, BDL, at the entrance to the airport. Inside, the facility features a modern design and gives a nod to Connecticut’s nature and history, with striking pieces of art located on each of the four floors.
More than 800 individuals worked on the facility since construction began in 2019. It is financed by customer facility charge revenues; no taxpayer funds were used to construct the facility.