Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Int'l Airport to begin operations from new terminal March 13

Phase I of the new Terminal Modernization Project at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is complete and set to open to travelers on March 13. (BHM Flickr)

The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport will begin operating from the newly modernized terminal on March 13, 2013. The Birmingham Airport Authority will have ambassadors on hand to assist passengers with navigating the new facility. Passengers are encouraged to arrive at least ninety minutes prior to their departure for check in and screening.

Other key improvements of the project include a completely covered parking deck with terminal access, a centralized checkpoint for easy transportation between concourses, new concession options and the addition of recreational and personal care spaces designed to meet the needs of young families.

The centralized checkpoint will save travelers from having to take checked baggage to a separate area for scanning. Instead, passengers can leave checked baggage at the counter, where they will be placed on a conveyor belt and into a $14 million inline baggage system for screening. Another advantage of this system is that passengers will be able to move freely throughout the airport without having to exit the checkpoint and require rescreening.

Two well-known Birmingham-area favorites, Jim N Nick's Bar-B-Que and Good People Brewing Company, will anchor concession options on Concourse A. Beyond the security gate, travelers will gain access to additional improvements including a children's play area designed by McWane Science Center, family restrooms, and private rooms available to nursing mothers.

Phase I improvements also included attention to sustainability, with an emphasis on conservation of energy and natural resources, as well as pollution reduction. The Birmingham Airport Authority has applied for LEED certification in this regard.

"Phase I of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport's Terminal Modernization Project is complete however our work is not done, said Al Denson, President and CEO of the Birmingham Airport Authority. "We committed to building an airport facility the community would be proud to call Alabama's front porch."

Beginning on Wednesday, March 13 all shuttles and ground transportation will be available on the lower roadway outer commercial lane. Rental cars facility remains on the first level of the parking deck.