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On May 17, community members, City of Tallahassee leaders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and other partners gathered to break ground on the International Processing Facility at Tallahassee International Airport (TLH). The multi-year, $28 million project will be a major economic driver for Northwest Florida and is a milestone in the process to designate a Foreign Trade Zone at TLH.
"Today, we broke ground on a project that will have far reaching impacts across the globe and closer to home. This major investment by the City improves the economic competitiveness of Tallahassee and our entire region. Construction of the International Processing Facility will have an immediate impact, and the following Foreign Trade Zone designation will spur longer-term economic benefits with the creation of more than 1,600 jobs and estimated annual economic impact of more than $300 million," Mayor John Dailey said.
The International Processing Facility is a key project in the City's Five-Year Strategic Plan to enable capacity for continued growth and increase the airport's annual economic impact to $1 billion. By prioritizing projects like this, TLH is on track to reach the City's goals of serving 1 million passengers and processing 22 million pounds of cargo annually, with 100 additional acres of land leased to businesses by 2024.
"Passenger traffic at TLH is increasing to near record levels, and investments in the future can be seen throughout the terminal and across airport property. Planning for the International Processing Facility began in 2014, and we broke ground today thanks to the dedication and forward-thinking of many stakeholders at the local, state and federal level," City of Tallahassee Director of Aviation David Pollard said.
Upon completion of this facility, Tallahassee will become Northwest Florida's connection to global markets, further positioning itself as a competitive, innovative and sustainable economic hub. The facility will allow TLH to accommodate international flights and give the ability for goods to be shipped to and received from worldwide destinations.
On July 10, 2019, the City Commission provided authorization to accept and execute a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program Grant Agreement in the amount of $1,776,111.30 for the design of an International Passenger Processing Facility (IPPF) at the Tallahassee International Airport. The IPPF project is prioritized in the City's Five Year Strategic Plan (Objective 1-A-5) as well as the Airport Master Plan approved by FAA and FDOT. Once established, the new processing facility will serve as a major driver of economic growth for the Big Bend region.
Airport Staff have worked closely with the design team at Corgan Associates, Inc. and numerous representatives at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to design a facility that meets the rigorous requirements of the CBP's _Airport Technical Design Standards. _CBP has issued preliminary approval for the Tallahassee International Airport to be a designated User Fee Facility and has indicated that construction of the International Passenger Processing Facility should commence by March 21, 2022. If construction of the facility has not started by that date, CBP has indicated that the Tallahassee International Airport would need to reapply to become a user fee facility which would result in significant delays to the overall project.
The IPPF project will provide for a terminal expansion and an approved international passenger port-of-entry and federal inspection station that will serve both commercial air service and general aviation needs at the Tallahassee International Airport. In addition to construction, this project includes funding for permitting, resident project representative, construction administration, and construction phase design services. Once construction begins, the project is expected to take 600 calendar days to complete.
The City issued and advertised an Invitation for Bid (IFB) for the International Passenger Processing Facility Project, IFB-037-21-CW on August 27, 2021 with bids due October 28, 2021. A total of two (2) bids were received as summarized in the attached bid tabulation. Both bidders demonstrated good faith in meeting the FAA-approved Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal. Whitesell-Green, Inc., the recommended bidder, provided the lowest responsive bid.
For business or air service inquiries, contact us at TallahasseeInternational@talgov.com.