Mobile seaport, airport share $100M for infrastructure upgrades

Funds will support new air terminal, multi-modal transportation assets

While Mobile transitions commercial air service to its downtown site, the Aeroplex is already home to the only Airbus Final Assembly Line in the U.S. Photo by Mike Kittrell.

Mobile’s seaport and airport today were awarded $100 million in federal funding to build a new airport terminal and improve multi-modal transportation facilities at the two agencies, which sit within sight of each other on Mobile’s waterfront.

The competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help coordinate freight movement via air, rail, highway and water.

“This is one of the most impactful federal grants during my time in Congress,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. “Mobile is uniquely positioned to become a major transportation hub, with infrastructure already in place for maritime, rail, aviation and highways.“

Mobile Airport Authority will use $62 million from the grant to build a new international airport terminal at the downtown airport at Brookley. MAA plans to relocate all commercial flights from Mobile Regional Airport in west Mobile to the downtown site within the next two years.

Thanking Shelby for his role in garnering the funding, MAA Chairman Elliot Maisel said, “This investment puts us closer to our goal of building a new terminal debt-free, and that’s exciting. By avoiding debt, we can keep costs low for airlines and pass those savings along to our customers.”

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The grant will also help increase cargo capacity, said MAA President Chris Curry. “We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity this funding creates. For residents, this move means more direct flights and lower fares. The new international terminal also creates expanded air freight capacity, and that will spur continued economic growth and success on the Alabama Gulf Coast.”

Mobile’s seaport, looking south from downtown.

The Alabama State Port Authority will use $38 million to improve efficiency in freight movement, beginning with an interterminal connector bridge, linking the marine terminal with intermodal container transfer facilities and the adjacent logistics park.  The port also plans to invest in infrastructure to support anticipated distribution centers.

“The timing of this grant could not be better,” said John Driscoll, CEO of the Alabama State Pot Authority, noting that channel modernization is progressing well and that 2021 showed “unprecedented growth” at intermodal container facilities.

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