FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) took a big step in its goal of a major terminal expansion this month.

Fresno City Council awarded a construction contract for the East Apron Reconfiguration project, which includes accommodation for larger aircraft to serve the new international and domestic gates. This project is funded through a $12 million Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program grant.

According to the director of Aviation Henry Thompson, their Terminal Expansion Program is the first major improvement to the airport in over 20 years, and the action by the Fresno City Council gets them closer to their goal.

The expansion has been branded “FATforward” and airport bosses expect the terminal expansion to be open to the public in December 2024 with an estimated cost of $120 million. The financing is expected to come from Federal funding, local Measure C funds, Passenger Facility Charge Fees and Airport Revenue Bonds.

The completion of the East Apron Reconfiguration project will signify the beginning of Phase 1 of the Terminal work, which includes expanding the TSA screening area and ultimately reducing wait times.

Phase 2 of the construction includes new TSA and airline bagging handling areas as well as a new upper-level concourse with two dual-use passenger bridges to make domestic and international boarding easier. New larger hold rooms and space for new shopping and dining concessions are also being added. The goal is to significantly improve the overall passenger experience at FAT.

The current size of the international arrivals facility will be tripled in size to accommodate the growing number of international travelers at the airport.

The first part of their FATfoward expansion has already flourished. In November 2021, airport officials opened a new four-level parking garage. This is the airport’s first multi-level, covered parking structure with over 900 spaces and additional capacity close to the terminal entrances.