sky train

McCarthy Aviation

​We Build with Every Traveler in Mind 

As one of the nation’s premier builders, McCarthy brings years of experience and expertise in new airport construction and modernization projects for some of the busiest airports in the nation. With more than 40 airport construction projects totaling more than $2 billion on our resume, McCarthy has developed an outstanding reputation for meeting and exceeding airlines’ and airports’ expectations – no matter the challenge. 

Our Aviation Leaders

Contact any of our team leaders to discuss how we can build you a high-performing team and create value on your next aviation project. 

Join us at the upcoming AAAE/ACC Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium and be sure to stop by booth #319.  

Case Studies in Aviation Experience

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Landside Modernization

This transformative landside modernization project created an iconic gateway experience at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s most traveled airport. 

The $278.2 million project involved the erection of two soaring structural steel canopies over curbside pick-up and drop-off areas at the domestic terminal. It’s a signature component of a 10-year, $6 billion capital program to upgrade ATL’s 40-year-old domestic terminal facilities.  

The 3,500-ton canopies, which shelter the North and South Terminal roadways, stand 74 feet high and extend 864 feet. Both structures are covered by 144 translucent pillows fabricated from more than 10,000 square yards of a specially designed ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) fabric material. These lightweight ETFE pillows are continuously inflated by blowers on the roof of the terminal. Integrated into the canopies are more than 3,400 light fixtures with an array of programmable LED lights that can change color to create hundreds of different patterns, designs and messages. 

All construction work took place while the airport remained fully operational. Careful planning and coordination with airport operations, police, and airlines ensured safety for the construction team as well as the 275,000 people who passed through the jobsite every day. 

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – Terminal 4 Eighth Concourse

sky harbor

Terminal 4 is Sky Harbor’s largest terminal, handling more than 80% of the airport’s 40 million passengers through its gates annually. This 275,000-square-foot project expanded the terminal’s footprint with the addition of 161,500 square feet representing the eighth and final concourse, as well as new bridges that provide connectivity throughout Terminal 4. Eight new gates are now available for use by Southwest Airlines to serve travelers and support long-term airline activity and growth.  

  • 137,000 square feet of the new addition is configured with apron and passenger levels  
  • 25,000 square feet is allocated for future retail and food and beverage concessions 

To aid in complex logistics, a temporary Airport Operation Area (AOA) fence barrier was approved and installed around the perimeter of the project site, allowing a majority of the work to be completed on landside. This allowed the project team access to the site without implementing additional security measures, minimized impacts to Sky Harbor’s ongoing airport operations, and maximized the productivity of our craft workforce and trade partners throughout the course of construction.  

With multiple cranes being required for construction of the new facility within an active airport, the McCarthy team worked closely with the FAA to secure a 7460-crane permit. The team provided specific information about the hoisting locations, crane sizes, timeframes, and durations to ensure that the implementation would not constitute a hazard to air navigation in the area.   

Southwest Airlines Flight Training Center and Administrative Offices

southwest airlines

This project for Southwest Airlines included a 414,000-square-foot office building and an attached 367,000-square-foot flight training center, housing 18 flight simulator bays, associated offices and ancillary areas. The training portion of the structure is constructed out of a hardened building so it can withstand 210-mile-per-hour winds and remain operational every day of the year in all weather conditions.  

McCarthy was able to meet Southwest Airlines’ fast-track, 23-month schedule on this multi-phased, early move-in project, giving Southwest the ability to deliver and begin training pilots on their $360 million worth of flight simulators.  

In addition to this ground-up project, McCarthy also completed the expansion of this building two years after construction was completed. The 141,000-square-foot expansion includes space for eight additional flight training simulator bays as well as two mezzanine floors for briefing rooms and simulator support. Again, McCarthy was able to meet a fast-track construction schedule to ensure on-time delivery of Southwest Airlines’ additional simulators and seamlessly tied the expansion into the existing building.  

Reno-Tahoe International Airport – Ticketing Hall Expansion

reno tahoe rendering

Currently under construction, the Ticketing Hall Expansion project consists of nearly 30,000 square feet of renovation and a 10,000-square-foot addition to the existing ticketing hall. Improvements to the existing terminal include a new glass storefront, raised ceilings, added restrooms, increased airline queuing, upgraded HVAC systems, roof replacement, increased circulation and added redundancy, new signage package, and additional flexible space for retail kiosks/multi-use. 

This project is the first phase of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s $600 million expansion program. In addition to McCarthy’s work on the ticketing hall expansion, the airport’s future work program will include new parking and car rental facilities, improved roadway access, and new concourses. 

Rendering Courtesy of RS&H