“Dream of Flight” Begins Today at the Albuquerque International Sunport
Traveling public will see first visible construction efforts taking shape this week
ALBUQUERQUE — Sunport and City officials today unveiled the name of the Albuquerque International Sunport’s once in a generation renovation project. “Dream of Flight: Sunport Reimagined” will enhance and modernize the entire passenger experience and reflect the City’s commitment to sustainability, safety, and the incomparable sense of place that sets the Sunport apart from other airports. The first phase of physical restructuring begins today with the construction of temporary walls in front of the Tia Juanita’s restaurant on the third level, which has been closed since early 2020.
“We are delighted to kick-off a transformation that will not only improve our safety and security infrastructure, but also provide superior amenities for travelers from around the globe who visit the Land of Enchantment,” said Director of Aviation Richard McCurley. “Like all capital improvement projects at the Sunport, this project will be completely funded using the airport’s own revenue, in addition to federal grants.”
There are three major components of the project. First, relocating the TSA screening checkpoint north towards the escalators, designing for greater security checkpoint efficiency for passengers and TSA agents. The second component will be largely behind the scenes, modernizing the Sunport’s HVAC, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and IT infrastructure.
The third component is the establishment of a new food hall, retail shops on either side of the T-connector, and various new retail and culinary offerings across the terminal, reaching into both concourses—along with wellness-focused features designed for passengers to relax, recharge and explore. New seating with modern outlets and furniture featuring familiar design touches will add to the airport’s warm, welcoming atmosphere. In conjunction with the renovation, an RFP will be released to develop a new concessions program.
“This project is an opportunity to provide New Mexicans and visitors to our state with a world-class shopping and dining experience,” said Manny Manriquez, Sunport Innovation and Commercial Development Manager. “With ‘Dream of Flight,’ we are not only improving the traveler experience, but also creating new opportunities for local, small, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses to participate in the effort to make the Sunport an even more hospitable place to be. We look forward to working with our partners to bring this project to life and amplify the classic sense of place that visitors have come to admire about our beloved Sunport.”
The new project name is inspired by the iconic 17×14’ bronze sculpture by artist Lincoln Fox entitled “Dream of Flight,” currently situated at the T-connector that enjoins the two councourses. Evoking an image of flight and imagination, the sculpture features an indigenous man being pulled into the sky by a soaring eagle, a celebration of the region’s cultural legacy.
Major construction for “Dream of Flight: Sunport Reimagined” will begin in January 2023. Like all Sunport capital improvement projects, this project will not use Albuquerque general fund dollars. Instead, it is funded with revenue generated by the CABQ Department of Aviation as well as federal grant funds. Completion of major construction is targeted for late 2024.
About the Albuquerque International Sunport
Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department, The Albuquerque International Sunport is New Mexico’s largest commercial airport, welcoming over 5 million passengers each year. Served by 8 major carriers, the Sunport offers non-stop service between ABQ and over 20 destinations, with worldwide connectivity. The Albuquerque International Sunport is the Gateway of New Mexico.