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Cincinnati Enquirer Opinion:  CVG upgrades create safe, seamless experience

Cincinnati Enquirer / Forum/Opinion Section / November 8, 2021

Letter from Candace McGraw, CEO, CVG Airport, to Cincinnati Region

Some of you have been traveling throughout this pandemic while others are considering flying for the first time in a year and a half. For those who have traveled, everyone has had a different experience.

At Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), we work hard so that you have a safe and seamless travel experience every time. Getting you to where you need to go this holiday season and into 2022 is our top priority.

Over the past decade, we’ve come a long way. Thanks to your support and alongside our business partners, we experienced record-breaking local passenger growth for the past several years. While this growth has been celebrated, it resulted in some growing pains felt within our facilities, which we were working through. New construction and improvement projects were prioritized and have moved forward.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, presenting more challenges. We’re working with our partners to find solutions to these challenges and improve every day. Here are just a few examples of how we’re transforming your travel experience:

  • Construction/new rental car center and Terminal expansion: For several years now, we have been working on projects leading up to the recent opening of our new rental car center. More than $175 million has been invested in this project. That facility is now open, offering a more efficient rental car experience and an updated ground transportation center. Travelers no longer have to take a shuttle to the rental car lots since the counters and pick-up area are now connected to the Terminal.
  • Parking: Earlier this year, parking availability was limited due to the pandemic. We now have several parking options open for travelers at various price points. We are also offering online, pre-paid reserved parking, as well as a frequent parking program.
  • Accessibility: We committed not just to fixing escalators and walkways, but, in some cases, even replacing them for increased reliability and efficiency. Across our Terminal Garage footprint and in the Terminal, these projects have taken several years, and we are now near completion.
  • Concessions: We are continuing to partner with a unique blend of local offerings in both retail and food and beverage. We’ve added high-quality vending machines for 24/7 food and beverage options. And we’re working with concession operators on new concepts and reopening your favorites as passenger travel returns.
  • Baggage Claim and other Terminal improvements: Earlier this year, we replaced four baggage carousels and continue to improve the baggage system. Other mechanical upgrades in our Terminal facilities are in process; the airport is investing tens of millions of dollars in these critical systems.
  • Cell phone lot: For those picking up friends or loved ones from the Terminal, we opened a new entrance to the cell phone lot in July. We have repaved and restriped the lot, which is just minutes from passenger pick-up.

I can’t stress enough our commitment to ensuring a safe and seamless experience for you, while also fulfilling our role as a regional leader and economic driver. We’ve made a lot of progress, and still have more work to do. I want to thank everyone who has come through CVG’s doors. As you get ready to travel again, we invite you to visit to learn more about what we’ve done.

We can’t wait to see you soon.

Candace McGraw is chief executive officer of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).