ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There have been a lot of updates happening at the Albuquerque International Sunport in the last few months, and travelers are starting to take note of some of the smaller, yet noticeable changes taking shape. After years of wear and tear, the Sunport has decided to make some changes to their over half a century-old wooden lounge chairs.
“The original chairs in the old terminal were from the late 30s and then when this new version of Sunport was built in the mid-to-late 60s, the chairs were brought in,” said Leah Black, outreach and marketing manager for ABQ Sunport.
Instead of throwing them out and replacing them with brand-new contemporary ones, the Sunport decided to bring new life to them instead, saying they still have solid frames and are a part of what makes the Sunport a unique stop. “It’s part of our culture, part of our tradition, and part of the heritage of Sunport,” Black said.
If you’ve visited the Sunport recently, you may have noticed some chairs visibly coming apart. Some of them show signs of scratches to the wood, rips in the leather, and damage to the upholstering. However, over the next few months, the Sunport will be sanding, refinishing, reupholstering, and adding new cushions to nearly 700 ‘heritage’ chairs. “People are very vocal about the old chairs in that the cushions are worn, they’re a little run down,” Black explained.
The Sunport will also be bringing in newer benches with charging ports to accompany the renovated chairs. “It’ll be a mix of old and new, mostly the heritage chairs but totally freshened up,” Black added.
Airport officials say they hope to increase the number of charging ports throughout waiting areas by 75%. So far, only a few chairs have been renovated, but they expect more to be finished and new benches set up in the coming months.
These renovations are just a small part of a larger project to renovate several spaces in the Sunport. Officials say they expect the new TSA space to open mid-November. “Sunport is a unique gem and so we’re just trying to highlight that in every way possible,” Black said.