Philadelphia airport’s $45 million makeover unveils today

Philadelphia airport’s Terminal E got a little makeover and it’s debuting the new look today.

The $45 million expansion in Philly Phili includes seven new gates for aircraft, a 500-seat passenger waiting area, a mini food court with new restaurant chains, and a 350-foot curved-glass wall. Coming soon, a new baggage-claim building with nine carousels and new ticket counters. Behind the scenes, a new automated bag sorting system with high-technology explosives-detection machines will be put to the test, with the hopes of using the machines full time in the fall.

Terminal E is home to Southwest Airlines, which operates 54 nonstops a day from Philly Phili. The purpose of the renovation is to make traveling between terminals easier for travelers. A 204,000-square-foot “connector” building opened in December 2008 that allowed travelers to go between Terminals D and E, and stop to shop at the airport mall along the way.

Who’s paying for this renovation? The mult-million tab comes paid for by airport revenue bonds funded by the airlines, federal grants, and you – the passenger facility charges you pay when you purchase airline tickets goes to these type of improvements.

[via Philadephia Inquirer]