By: Brady Petree June 7, 2023

Plans to implement commercial airline service at Gulf Shores International Airport (GSA) finally have a completion date in sight.

According to GSA Director Scott Fuller, a new terminal, which will allow commercial airlines to fly in and out of the city, is slated to be constructed by the spring of 2025.

Since announcing plans for the creation of a terminal in a partnership with TBI/VINCI Airports in September 2022, Fuller said, the level of interest he has received from airlines looking to get in on commercial service has been robust. He added some airlines have even inquired about instituting service as early as 2024.

While the interest is there and he would love to take the airlines up on their offers, Fuller said, the primary issue with beginning a year early is GSA currently doesn’t have the required space to do so.

“We have a lot of interest from a lot of airlines basically due to the fact that we have 8 million visitors a year coming in here and a vast majority of those would rather fly,” Fuller said. “The problem is that we don’t have a terminal, so we don’t have a place to put them.”

Fuller said he and his team are working with TBI/VINCI to draw up a design for the terminal, which they hope to submit to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by September at the latest.

When it comes to financing the project, Fuller said, expectations are that phase one of the terminal will come in at approximately $10 million. Fuller said he is hopeful the FAA will lend a helping hand in getting the project funded.

“The FAA has indicated a willingness to help fund the terminal,” Fuller said. “I don’t know how much we’ll get from them, but they said [to] apply for all of it and that’s what we’ll do. … We will know in February or March of next year as to what we’ll get from them.”

Fuller said the airport will fund the remaining balance on the terminal and move forward with the expected completion date in 2025.

While the expansion into commercial service is still a few years away, GSA isn’t wasting any time expanding its current facilities. According to Fuller, GSA currently has eight different facilities in various stages of construction.

In a memo to the Gulf Shores City Council for a work session on Monday night, Fuller wrote two of the airport’s longest tenants are seeking permission to build on their current services.

“Longtime airport tenant Resicum/Aeropro has expanded to the point that they now desire to construct, maintain and operate a standalone facility with a minimum hangar area,” the memo reads.

If approved by the council at the regular meeting, the ordinance would allow for the construction of a 17,000-square-foot hangar and an adjoining office of 4,800 square feet. Both spaces are expected to generate a minimum annual rent of $45,494 per year.