If you’ve been to or through Nashville International Airport (BNA) lately, you’ve surely noticed two things: 1) shiny new facilities, and 2) ongoing construction. The airport is in the middle of a major overhaul to ensure it can accommodate strong growth and serve the future travel needs of “Music City” and middle Tennessee. The multi-year plan is called BNA Vision, and it includes projects such as a new concourse and gates, new parking facilities, a new entrance and terminal renovations, a hotel, and additional security lanes.
I recently took my first trip (on Southwest, of course) since COVID-19 largely drove travel to a halt, and I had the pleasure of seeing the progress and enjoying the new facilities that have been completed. Here is what you can expect next time you are at BNA.
The airport is now separated into two independent terminals, which is a major but temporary change to expedite construction. Southwest operates out of the south terminal, which is identified as blue. Signs as you approach the airport and throughout the facility will direct you, and you must go through the south security checkpoint to get to Southwest gates that are in both C and D Concourses. Southwest’s new check-in counter is right beside the south checkpoint, so it is easy to get in the airport and through security very quickly!
Southwest ticketing and south security checkpoint
Once you get through security, you’ll turn right for gates in Concourse C or left to find the new, stunning Concourse D. It’s open and bright and absolutely beautiful! There are six new gates, all of them for Southwest flights. You’ll find art installations, room for several new food and retail outlets, a mothers’ room, and an internal service animal relief area. The expansive windows adjust to darken as needed to control the light and comfort, and the LEED-registered facility is focused on sustainability! While the rest of the airport is getting new tile and carpet to lighten up the overall feel, the brand-new Concourse D is refreshingly airy and open!See more about Concourse D through this virtual tour.
Concourse D Entrance
Art & Concessions in Concourse D
Speaking of carpet, the old carpet at BNA has a massive following on social media; unfortunately, it is on the way out. Over time, it has been replaced by tile and new carpet. While I’ll miss seeing the well-known old design, I have to admit that it’s easier to roll a bag on tile versus carpet! I’d love to see the airport memorialize the old carpet in a small way, perhaps in an art installation or in some small places throughout the facility.
Other things to look out for include a model of the expanded airport in the ticketing lobby, new baggage claim carousels, new rental car counters, and a mural selfie spot in Terminal Garage 2 where the rideshare pickup is located. The addition of that new rideshare and shuttle pickup space has been very helpful in alleviating congestion during busy pickup times, and it is a welcome change!
You can read all about the ongoing project at BNA Vision, and if you’re really a fan of the airport and/or Nashville, you can purchase BNA merchandise at BNAShop.com! My personal favorite item is the BNA Carpet Doormat. Also, be sure to follow the airport’s Twitter and Facebook pages; you can find lots of good info shared there.
BNA Vision Timeline
Nashville is a great place to visit, and BNA’s efforts to update its facilities are creating a beautiful new gateway to Music City.I can’t wait to see the continued progress, and hope you also get the chance to see it soon!