Governor Deval L. Patrick today announced $100 million in renovations focused on better serving international passengers at Boston's Logan International Airport. The project will include a new post-security connector between terminals E and C, improvements to hold rooms and concessions, renovations to accommodate expanded international air service, and the installation of self-service kiosks to expedite the processing of passports for those traveling internationally.
International air service is the fastest growing segment of the Logan travel market, up 20 percent in the past 10 years. 5.7 million international travelers passed through Logan last year, making up 1 in 5 passengers.
"Lasting growth in the 21st century global economy will come from our competitiveness in global markets," said Governor Patrick. "These new renovations to better serve our international passengers build on our growth strategy to open up Massachusetts to new markets and will ensure that we remain competitive for many years to come."
"Boston Logan is the region's gateway to the global economy,'' said Thomas P. Glynn, CEO of Massport, the airport's owner and operator. "We have had success, but we must continue to develop new routes, make Terminal E welcoming to the global citizens who pass through it everyday, and make certain the airport continues to be the region's efficient economic engine.''
The renovations will begin in July and are expected to be complete in about 2 years. They are funded through Massport's capital plan.
The Governor made the announcement during remarks at a business summit with Massport and the Greater Chamber of Commerce. The forum focused on the importance of international air service to the Commonwealth's economy. Along with the Patrick Administration, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce has identified the expansion of international connections as a top priority. Under Governor Patrick's leadership, Massachusetts is competing on the international stage and winning. For example:
Logan now serves 36 overseas markets with non-stop service, up from 26 a decade ago, with recent flights added to Dublin, Madrid, Toronto, the Dominican Republic, Tokyo, Panama City, Istanbul, Dubai and Beijing.
In the inaugural year of Japan Airlines' non-stop service to and from Tokyo, visitors from Japan to Massachusetts increased by 43 percent, with those visitors spending approximately $108 million in Massachusetts.
Logan saw record numbers of travelers in the last three years. International air service is the fastest growing segment of the Logan travel market, up 20 percent in the past 10 years. 5.7 million international travelers passed through Logan last year, making up 1 in 5 passengers. Forecasts between now and November expect departing international seats to increase by 7.5 percent. Logan's international terminal is undergoing a makeover to create a welcoming environment for passengers traveling to Massachusetts for pleasure and for business. International customers benefit from shorter wait times through immigration and customs compared to other major East Coast airports.
Spending by international visitors hit $2.3 billion this past year. Visitor spending currently supports 127,000 Massachusetts jobs and over $1 billion in state and local taxes -- those numbers are up 4% from last year.
Massachusetts merchandise exports increased 4.6 percent last year to $26.8 billion.
This year, Massachusetts colleges and universities are hosting over 46,000 international students -- an increase of 13 percent over last year.
"Without question, international air service is a key element for the economic success of any city or state," said Pedro Heilbron, CEO, Copa Airlines. "Copa's nonstop Boston-to-Panama flight has contributed significantly to increases in air traffic, not only from Panama -- which has the fastest growing economy in Latin America -- but also from countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and many of the other destinations we serve in the region. Copa is very pleased to be a catalyst for economic growth both here in Massachusetts and throughout Latin America."
"We are very excited to provide nonstop service between Boston and Beijing," said Pubin Liang, Managing Director of Hainan Airlines in North America. "Massachusetts' diverse economy and high income makes this market a natural fit that will bolster business and tourism opportunities between Boston and Beijing."