During the 1980s, the Airport would see significant improvements with the implementation of a major $695 million capital improvement program. The decade opened with the dedication of a state-of-the-art $6.5 million Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facility in December 1981.
In 1984, 500 ground-level short-term parking spaces were created as a result of the relocation of five car rental agencies to self-contained buildings just north of the parking garages. Work also commenced on an $11 million improvement project to the Airport's heating and air conditioning system.
In 1985, SEPTA inaugurated service on a new rail line connecting the Airport with downtown Philadelphia, and a new cargo facility became operative with construction on a second cargo facility being completed by the end of the decade.
A multi-faceted project to greatly improve the flow of traffic on the often-congested arrivals roadway was completed in 1986. The completion of this project doubled the traffic lanes from three to six, separated public and private transportation traffic, created new exits and entrances at two multi-level parking garages and established additional ground-level parking.
In the late 1980's, a $695 million, six-year capital improvement program began that called for construction to begin on a new $100 million international terminal (Terminal A, completed in 1991); the total renovation of Terminals B, C, D and E; reconstruction of all public restrooms; a new 2,800-space multi-level parking garage; and enhanced roadway signs.
The newly consolidated Terminal B/C opened in June 1998 featuring a new ticketing pavilion with more than 50 check-in positions; the Philadelphia MarketPlace at the Airport with more than 30 national and local shops and eateries including Lids, The Gap, Sbarro's, TGI Friday's and many others; a US Airways Club on the third level overlooking the airfield; and a baggage claim connector with 7 new carousels.
On August 2, 1999, Philadelphia International Airport broke ground on new regional and international terminals. Terminal F opened in June 2001 with international Terminal A-West opening in May 2003.
On December 3, 1999, the Airport commissioned Runway 8/26. Constructed at a cost of $221 million, this 5,000 foot runway is used for regional and general aviation aircraft.