Published November 16, 2021
Arriving at PDX, you know the drill: Get off the plane and stretch your legs. Pick up your suitcases.
Hop on the shuttle to the offsite rental car offices. Rent a car and drive away.
Notice? We've just eliminated one of those steps.
On November 10, 2021, PDX unveiled its new rental car center, which brings all our agency partners under one roof and makes it faster and easier for you to continue your journey. And by reducing the number of shuttle vans circulating, we’re easing the congestion on NE Airport Way!
To get to the new center, follow the signs from the baggage claim area to the South Tunnel, where you’ll then head up the escalator into the bright, spacious new facility — without ever encountering a speck of bad weather.
You'll find the following car rental agencies here, two of which are completely new to the airport: Almo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, Thrifty and Zipcar.
On your route, look out for the new art pieces we commissioned for the walkway: Perez Westbrooks' colorful digital mural celebrating Northwest flora and Ben Butler's swirling wood sculpture made from reclaimed Douglas fir. A third piece, DeWitt Godfrey's metal sculpture, will join them next spring.
This new facility — which also adds 30 ADA parking spots, more than 30 electric vehicle charging stations, and 2,200 long-term parking spaces to the airport — isn't the first effort we've made to speed up your rental-car journey. In 2018, the airport debuted a quick-turnaround facility where agencies could quickly clean incoming vehicles and get them into the hands of departing passengers. And we have one more improvement in store: Next year, we’re converting the old rental-car center into a rideshare pickup-and-dropoff point, substantially reducing the number of cars outside the Departures and Arrival areas!
It’s not that we like to see you go. We just know you’re eager to get to your next destination.
Here's what this year will look like for PDX (and you!)
For the past year, we've built a nine-acre roof on a prefabrication lot to the northwest of the airport. The construction crews are now installing the last component—an intricate wood lattice, sourced from sustainable Northwest forests, that will eventually cover the interior ceiling.
What you'll see: If you drive along Marine Boulevard, you can glimpse the roof's dramatic swoops in the prefab lot.
Behind all those partitions in the pre-security area, construction crews have been hollowing out the back half of the main terminal. Starting in March, the exterior structure is also coming down to create a more open, spacious footprint. It may get noisy for a few months!
What you'll see: Not much, in fact. But when you’re in the ticket lobby and going through security, you may hear and feel what’s happening on the other side of those partitions. We're strategizing ways to counteract the sound, including free earplugs at the front doors and a sensory room in Concourse D.
Next, we’re erecting 34 giant steel Y-shaped columns to hold up the roof. Right now, construction crews are driving steel pilings deep into the ground to anchor these columns. Over the course of a few months, we’ll erect the Y columns one by one.
What you'll see: You probably won't notice—most are going up overnight behind the temporary walls. Late-night travelers will occasionally have to walk a few yards around an installation site.
Once the biggest section of the wood roof is fully assembled, the project team will break it back down into 20 "cassettes". During the summer and fall, Hoffman-Skanska and Mammoet will maneuver each cassette into place over the existing roof. It will take several days to place each cassette, and the work will happen overnight — depending on the section we’re placing, we may guide late-night travelers around a short detour.
What you'll see: Unless you're flying into PDX on a late-night flight, or camped out on Marine Drive at 2 a.m., you won't see much. If you walk to the ends of Concourse C or Concourse D and look back toward the main terminal, you'll catch a glimpse of the airport's new roofline.
In addition to the big projects, you’ll see a host of new amenities appear throughout the airport. A new play area in Concourse E. New art. New restaurants and cafes. (Lardo! Screen Door! Good Coffee!) You're almost guaranteed to encounter something new every time you visit the airport — and we're not talking barricades.