There’s something new at the Brownsville-South Padre International Airport to go along with the new airfield.
The airport has new passenger boarding bridges that make it easier to transfer passengers from the airport terminal to the airplane and vice versa.
The airport received the new passenger boarding bridges last year and the installation of them began in the middle of August, said Francisco Partida, special projects manner for the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.
“We had to wait until the demolition of the old terminal and then the concrete which took a little longer than expected, and material delays and labor because COVID,” Partida said.
The new passenger boarding bridges were activated on Sept. 3.
The new passenger boarding bridges were funded through a Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. The airport on May 13 was awarded over $1.6 million to improve, modify and rehabilitate the terminal building.
Prior to having the passenger boarding bridges, passengers boarding and deplaning from the aircrafts would have to use a shuttle.
The airport posted on its Facebook Page about the new passenger boarding bridges “With this, we bid farewell to the ground boarding operations, and start a new era in air travel at BRO. (bye bye buses!!)
Partida said passengers utilizing the airport would ask for updates on the boarding bridges. They were happy when they saw that the terminal bridges had arrived.
There were “very positive reactions, people were very excited…even the pilots, we know that the captain of the first airplane that pulled into the gate announced ‘guys when we deplane take a deep breath and get that new jet bridge smell we don’t get them that often’ so it was really positive,” said Partida. “Even the gate agents for the airlines were excited to get their hands on it and finally use them for board.”
The passenger boarding bridges the airport had used in the past in the old airport terminal were refurbished and came with some problems, Partida said. Some of the parts were rusting too fast and there were also some weather leaks.
“It was definitely not a good idea to reuse those,” he said.